Peter Pacione: Candidate Profile
13th Subcircuit (Pietrucha vacancy) (Republican)
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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: 13th Subcircuit (Pietrucha vacancy)
Family: Engaged to be married.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Marquette University, 1996 Juris Doctorate, The John Marshall Law School, 1999
Civic involvement: Previously coached youth baseball, but because of work responsibilities and number of hours worked, I have been unable to participate in extra activities.
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
As a taxpayer I find it a very difficult pill to swallow that judges in this state are paid $180,000.00 a year of taxpayer money and then receive a very large pension after retirement (either approximately $150,000.00 or $65,000.00 depending on date of becoming judge) on the taxpayer's dime. I am the only candidate in my race that has pledged not to participate in an unnecessary judicial pension.
Key Issue 2
The motivation of judicial candidates.
This issue is closely related to the first.
Judges are public servants; the public is not a servant to judges.
My motivation to be a judge is to be a public servant, not secure my financial future in retirement.
Key Issue 3
Judges should make their decisions based upon the facts and the law and not their own personal beliefs.
Do you favor the appointment of judges or do you prefer the election process' Please explain your answer.
I think both methods are flawed, but the election of judges is the lesser of the two evils.
Under the appointment process, associate judges are selected by circuit judges.
It is a process in which judges are sometimes chosen because of who they know and not necessarily because of what they know.
Under the election process the same holds true, however, political parties and other organizations are the ones trying to influence the outcome of an election through endorsements.
It is a process in which political friendships and financial contributions weigh heavily on the outcome of an election and not the qualifications or ideas of a candidate.
The only saving grace of the election process is that in today's world information is readily available and the political parties' influence over voters is diminishing. In the end voters have the final say in an election and that is what is most important.
The process would be greatly improved by making it mandatory to run for judge as an independent and eliminating political affiliations.
What special qualifications or experiences make you the best person to serve as a judge?
I am assistant corporation counsel for ten municipal corporations.
To that end I have to deal with many areas of the law.
I deal with issues involving contracts, zoning, real estate, employment, crimes, etc...
I deal with multiple areas of the law.
My clients are impacted by every area of the law imaginable so I have to be ready to deal with any issue that develops.
I sue on behalf of my clients.
I defend my clients.
I provide whatever legal services that my clients require.
I am in court on almost a daily basis and am proficient in the rules of evidence and the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure.
I handle cases from beginning to end; from the initial drafting of a complaint through the discovery process and motion practice to the trial if necessary.
I am also a municipal prosecutor for seven municipalities.
As a municipal prosecutor I prosecute offenses ranging from driving on a suspended license to drug charges and from battery to interfering with a police investigation. I have experience in both criminal and civil courtrooms.
My experience is not limited to just criminal or just civil law.
As a judge I would be able to be placed in many different courtrooms because my experience with the law is not limited to one area.
Finally, I have experience deciding cases.
I am an administrative hearing officer for three municipalities.
I have experience conducting hearings.
I listen to testimony, rule on objections, determine the credibility of witnesses, and issue my rulings.
These are the same tasks that a judge undertakes.
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 believe that if mandatory sentences have been imposed by the legislature they should be followed.
Judges should not take matters into their own hands and legislate from the bench.
The law is the law.
I do believe that judges should have more leeway when it comes to sentencing defendants because each case is unique; each case has a unique set of facts and circumstances.
However, when mandatory sentences are required, my personal beliefs do not matter; the law does.
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 support the use of "subject" specific courts because they allow courts to provide proper attention to the parties they serve.
I have not analyzed the issue of whether they have been effective and therefore do not offer an opinion on this issue.
Do you support eliminating the ban on cameras and recording devices in Illinois courtrooms' Why or why not?
I support eliminating the ban on cameras and recording devices in Illinois courtrooms for several reasons:
Courtrooms are already open to the public for all to come and observe.
Whatever is seen or heard does not change by banning cameras and recording devices, 2) The activities captured by cameras and recording devices can be used as educational tools for students and the public alike, and 3) transparency is always the best policy.