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updated: 2/10/2012 4:54 PM

Steve Demitro: Candidate Profile

Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart 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: Chicago


Office sought: Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart vacancy)

Age: 49

Family: Engaged to a Teacher.

Occupation: Attorney- Private Practice - Chair Qualified Arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County

Education: G.E.D April 1987 Wright College, Chicago, Illinois Associate of Arts Degree. December 1988 University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science June 1990 John Marshall Law School, J.D.(1999)Chicago, Illinois

Civic involvement: * A friend of the Chicago Legal Clinic, and very important in helping the Clinic carry out its mission of bringing justice into more people's lives. * Served as Chairman of the Education Funding Advisory Board for the State of Illinois * Associate Member of the Chicago Blackhawk Alumni * President of the Masters Hockey League * A friend of the Bishop Abramowicz Seminary Program and through my involvement in hockey raised financial support for the program for over 10 years to help carry out their mission.

Elected offices held: None.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

My diverse background has taught me a great deal about people and their need for a fair and impartial justice.

Key Issue 2

I will treat all persons who appear before me with dignity, courtesy, and professionalism.

Key Issue 3

I will strive to make fair and impartial decisions in every case.

Questions & Answers

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

In my personal opinion, judges should be elected by the people. The people should play a part in the process, otherwise a handful of person select judges and the dangers of elitism and favoritism are inherent in the appointment method. If a judge is elected, he serves at the pleasure of the electorate not special interest groups.

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

I am one of nine children born to immigrant parents who did not speak English, yet worked hard to raise their large family.

I started my adult life as a high school dropout.

After much work and a few breaks, I completed my GED, finished college, graduated from law school and passed the Illinois Bar.

With the experience I obtained during several diverse positions in my life, with my legal knowledge, and my integrity, honesty and commitment to the rule of law, I believe I would be an asset to the Circuit Court of Cook County.

My diverse background has taught me a great deal about people and their need for a fair and impartial justice.

I will treat all persons who appear before me with dignity, courtesy, and professionalism, I will strive to make a fair and impartial decision in every case.

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 will follow the applicable law in all cases coming before me. My personal opinion is that mandatory sentences prevents a judge from imposing a sentence which a defendant deserves. Each case is different and requires the judges to treat defendants as individuals.

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?

From everything I have heard, my personal opinion is that these specialized courts are working well. I will work within the existing system.

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

My personal opinion is that cameras and recording devices may affect how the participants conduct themselves. The O.J,Simpson trial demonstrated that such devices may affect the proceedings in a negative manner.

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