While the populations of Cook County Jail as well as Illinois Department of Corrections have grown way past capacity & the streets of Chicago evolve into a virtual battlefield. The officers sworn to serve and protect the citizens of this great city have found time to not only arrest a 79 year old man for driving on a suspended license, but one of the elected officials, given the task of interpreting the law, saw fit to sentence this man to 240 days of incarceration in one of the roughest and largest jails in the country.
Chester Finklea, 79, was sentenced December 26, 2012, to 240 days in Cook County Jail for driving on a suspended license. Finklea died at the hospital at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. An autopsy determined he died of coronary atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus. Mayberry, RFD, is the type of place that one would expect a 79 year old man to be incarcerated for driving on a suspended license. If Chicago was totally crime free and employment was in jeopardy at the CPD or the County Jail, one would expect to see individuals incarcerated for such petty offenses. Chicago is anything but crime free, with an astronomical homicide rate,( most of which remain unsolved) one must ask the question, ”Why was this man arrested, much less incarcerated?”
The judicial system as a whole should be embarrassed and ashamed of the events leading to this man’s death. Illinois leads the country in the incarceration of petty offenders and this is another example of the desperate need of a complete judicial overhaul. The police officers that had the audacity of not only pulling this man over but arresting him and sending him to the county jail must really be proud of themselves. The judge that saw fit to sentence a 79 year old man to 240 days of incarceration had to know that a day in jail was a perpetual death sentence to an elderly man with prior health issues.
Even as this article is being written, the sound of gunfire is clearly audible, yet there is no sign of a police vehicle. Law enforcement may still have a busy night though, they get pretty rowdy at the retirement village around the corner bout 9. It’s bingo night!!!!