Cook County prosecutors release 6 years of charging data
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
by Mitchell Armentrout
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx | Sun-Times file photo
Cook County state’s attorney Kim Foxx released a trove of information about her office’s handling of felony cases in 2016, along with charging data going back to 2011.
The reports break down the more than 30,000 cases brought for prosecution last year,
and how they progressed through the system and affected different racial groups.
About 54 percent of the felony cases came out of Chicago last year, with 46 percent of the crime happening in the suburbs.
A total of 3,191 charges of unlawful use of a weapon were brought to Cook County prosecutors in 2016, with 2,414 originating in Chicago and 777 from the suburbs, the data shows. People of color made up the vast majority of those charged with that crime, including 80 percent identifying as African-American and 14 percent as Latino.
Of the 2,598 weapon cases that concluded in 2016, more than half — 1,455 — ended with a guilty plea or amended charges, while just 347 people were convicted. Among the cases that went to trial, 374 were acquitted.
Prosecutors decided not to proceed with 380 of the weapon cases, accounting for nearly 15 percent of the cases that concluded last year.
The reports — which detail other serious crimes including retail theft, DUI, burglary, battery, robbery and homicide — are the first of their kind to be released by the county, state’s attorney Kim Foxx said in a statement.
“When I took office, I made a commitment to dramatically increasing the transparency of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office,” Foxx said. “This report represents an important first step in that process.”