Alice Wilson: Candidate Profile

18th Circuit (Thompson vacancy) (Democrat)

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. Jump to:BioKey IssuesQA Bio City: BolingbrookWebsite: http://Alice Wilson Judge DupageOffice sought: 18th Circuit (Thompson vacancy)Age: 52Family: Married, two children and six grandchildren.Occupation: Administrative Law Judge and practicing attorney.Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Alcorn State University, 1980 Juris Doctorate, The John Marshall Law School, 1990 Admitted to Illinois Bar, 1991Civic involvement: Member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Former member of Cook County Bar Association Member of Apostolic Assembly Church of Jesus, Chicago, IL (former Auxillary head of Youth Organization) (Auxillary head - free legal clinic) Attend Victory Cathedral, Romeoville, ILElected offices held: None, but I am well qualified to hold this elected position.Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Never been arrested and convicted of a crime.Candidate's Key Issues Key Issue 1 I do not have an opponent for the March 20, 2012 election.Key Issue 2 I do not have an opponent for the March 20, 2012 election.Key Issue 3 I do not have an opponent for the March 20, 2012 election.Questions Answers Do you favor the appointment of judges or do you prefer the election process' Please explain your answer.Judges in my opinion should continue to be elected by their constituents and not appointed. Let the People make the choice.Judges have more to do with making decisions about an individual's life than a U.S. Representative or Senator.For this reason, citizens should elect judges who have faced some of the same challenges and have dealt with similar issues as themselves.Judges should not be out of touch with society and citizens. Judges should be able to embrace the community.Appointments in my opinion can but not in all cases, give rise to possible political favors and corruption. There are a lot of lawyers out there that are not politically connected, that are experienced and would make good judges, but never get the opportunity, unless they run and get elected. Being the appointed incumbent(s), does not make that individual the better choice for judge. Citizens need qualifed, fair, open-minded judges who are willing to listen to and hear the little guy and the big guy.Don't understand what a potential appointee has to do or submit to be appointed to fill an interim position.When judges are appointed, the public has no say or choice in the matter, and too often, the person appointed is not a fair and impartal person, who may not care about the rights of a poor little unknown citizen, as compared to the rights of well known law firms and corporations. All should be allowed to present their case, openly and freely within the bounds of the law, and all should be heard. No one should be made to feel like they are less important than a major or well known law firm or a major corporation.What special qualifications or experiences make you the best person to serve as a judge?First and foremost, I serve a true and faithful God, who is no respector of persons (no one regardless to your status,is higher or more important than another).Second, I have been an attorney for 19+ years and I have extensive litigation, writing and research abilities that more than qualify me for the job.I have also served as an Administrative Law Judge for approximately 19 years, so I am a sitting judge presently, and all that come before me are treated with dignity and respect(including pro-se litigants) and are allowed to present their case and when they are done, whether they prevail or lose, they feel like they had their day in court and feel like they were treated with respect.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?Judges take an oath to follow the law, that includes the present law in the State of Illinois.More emphasis should be placed on effective negotiations and settlement conferences, to allow an individuals who qualifies to have their charges reduced to avoid long mandatory sentences.Prosecutors and lawyers should not punish a defendant for personal reasons or how you feel about the defendant or his lawyer personally.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?Prostitution Courts, yes they have been effective.I presently hear solicitation (attempt solicitation of a prostitute) cases as an Administrative Law Judge and I have never seen a Respondent appear before me 2 or more times for this violation, and the number of cases have dropped significantly (I have been hearing these cases for 19+ years).The stings set up by the CPD task force apparently are a good deterrent to this crime and as a result, citizens in neighborhoods in the City of Chicago can live and raise their children with fewer incidents of this immorality going on. Yes, I think domestic violence courts have been effective. Too often women (and some men) are abused, physically, emotionally, psychologically and verbally, and by imposing both temporary and plenary orders against the accused where warranted, this court has been well established as a deterrent and lessens the possibility of repeat offenders and an individual violating the current Order of Protection (OP).However, an order of protection should not be used, as it is by some, to hurt the reputation of an individual, because maybe the man left the woman and started a relationship with another; or to stop the man or woman from having contact or visitation with his/her children.I have actually observed cases where the facts were clear that this was the reason the case was filed, and therefore, judges sitting in these important courtrooms should be experienced good listeners to weed out these bad cases and only issue orders on cases where protection of individuals/families are warranted.Drug cases. These cases have to be reviewed and ajudicated case by case, paying close attention to the nature, facts,amount of drugs involved and the background of the defendant. Too often I have seen and observed cases where individuals who are first time offenders or the drugs were for their personal use only, end up with misdeameanor or felony convictions, and now that person's life is ruined forever.No employer is going to hire that person, because the first step in hiring is reviewing the individual's application.The person has to admit they have been convicted and why and more likely than not, that application will be tossed in the garbage or passed over without getting to the qualifications of the individual. More attention should be paid to this system of first time offenders and personal users, to allow them a second chance where warranted, to eleviate being given a conviction to allow them to fit back into society by getting them in mandatory rehab; and further working with employers and the community to make jobs and job training available through the court system.If we convict them and send them out there without help, society suffers. I would first like to say THANK YOU, to all veterans and God bless all veterans. There is no doubt that veterans should be at the top of judges and America's list to receive help, benefits, jobs and the like, through courts or otherwise.Anyone who is in need of assistance through mental health courts should receive it and more attention should be paid to these patients to get them the treatment and help they need, before releasing them back into society.Do you support eliminating the ban on cameras and recording devices in Illinois courtrooms' Why or why not?All I have to say is observing actual cases in courtrooms in Illinois is a great training tool for lawyers, young and old and also children who have prospects of becoming lawyers and judges.