Lawyer wants case for convicted rapist assigned to judge outside county
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter September 4, 2013 11:34AM
Stanley Wrice's attorney Jennifer Bonjean. | Rummana Hussain/Sun-Times
Updated: September 11, 2013 10:57AM
A lawyer seeking to free convicted rapist Stanley Wrice asked Cook County Criminal Courts Chief Judge Paul Biebel Wednesday to move toward re-assigning the case to a judge outside the county.
New York-based attorney Jennifer Bonjean cited Judge Evelyn Clay’s recent recusal in the matter and the subpoenas of former Mayor Richard Daley and Appellate Court Judge Bertina Lampkin in Wrice’s upcoming evidentiary hearing.
Daley and Lampkin were subpoenaed in July to testify at the hearing, which had been scheduled Sept. 23. Daley was the Cook County state’s attorney when Wrice was convicted, and Lampkin was a prosecutor on the case.
Although Clay would only say she had a conflict of interest because “this court knows some of the parties involved,” Bonjean assumes the judge was pointing to her past dealings with Daley and Lampkin.
All current Cook County judges have ties with Daley and Lampkin, Bonjean told Biebel, urging him to send the matter to Chief Judge Timothy Evans so a judge outside the county to be assigned as in the involuntary manslaughter case of Daley’s nephew Richard “R.J.” Vanecko.
Bonjean told Biebel it was a “matter of public necessity” to move the case outside Cook County’s jurisdiction to prevent the “appearance of impropriety.”
Biebel on Wednesday asked special prosecutors to prepare a written response to Bonjean’s motion by Monday and asked all parties to return before him in a week.
Wrice, now 59, claims detectives working under disgraced Cmdr. Jon Burge tortured him into giving a false confession to a 1982 gang rape. He is currently serving a 100-year prison sentence.
Outside of court, Bonjean said “this building and this Machine” are keeping justice from moving swiftly.
“If there’s any case that calls for getting this case outside of Cook County, it is this case,” Bonjean said.
“It really has no place in Cook County period.”
Contributing: Frank Main