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updated: 2/10/2012 4:55 PM

Brian Stephenson: Candidate Profile

Cook County Circuit Court (Ward vacancy) (Democrat)

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: LaGrange Park

Website: http://None

Office sought: Cook County Circuit Court (Ward vacancy)

Age: 50

Family: I am married for twenty one years and have four children ages 19, 17, 15 and 12.

Occupation: Litigation Attorney

Education: Bachelor of Arts in English, State University of New York at Albany. 1983 Juris Doctor Degree, The John Marshall Law School. 1987

Civic involvement: Founder of Turn the Corner NFP. Teach improv classes for children on juvenile probation in Cook County. Founder- Gone Fishin. Program that takes developmentally disabled individuals fishing. Co-Founder - The LaGrange Hometown Teen Players acting group. Started acting and art classes for children on Saturday mornings for several years. St. Francis Xavier School Board (past member). Chaired St. Francis Auction. Coached St. Francis football (2010 and 2011). Softball, soccer and baseball coach.

Elected offices held: None other than school board.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

I am a well qualified trial attorney and can be fair and objective as a judge.

Key Issue 2

Candidate did not respond.

Key Issue 3

Candidate did not respond.

Questions & Answers

Do you favor the appointment of judges or do you prefer the election process' Please explain your answer.

I think they are each fine. However, the appointment process is pretty rigorous and checks the qualifications and background of the candidates to insure that they will be competent judges.

What special qualifications or experiences make you the best person to serve as a judge?

I have been a trial attorney for twenty three years. I have been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. I have also been a plaintiff's attorney and a defense attorney in civil matters.

I know the rules of evidence very well and have an extensive litigation background in the state of Illinois as well as in the state of Indiana.

What are your thoughts on mandatory sentencing? Do you believe judges should have greater leeway when it comes to sentencing defendants' Why or why not?

I do not have a problem with mandatory sentences.

What are your thoughts on the use of drug courts, domestic violence courts, veterans courts, mental health courts and prostitution courts' Have they been effective?

I think they are excellent.

I run a program for children on probation in juvenile court. I think it is important to address the core of the problem

and to help the individual who may be struggling with an issue that if resolved may help them stay out of the criminal justice system.

Do you support eliminating the ban on cameras and recording devices in Illinois courtrooms' Why or why not?

No, I do not believe any court matters should be recorded other than by a qualified court reporter.

We need to preserve the sanctity of the court and cameras and recording devices will interrupt the proceedings and impede on the judicial process.