In a long and caustic tirade on Friday afternoon, Cook County Judge Stanley Sacks denied prosecutors’ request to release a man from jail a year early, a preliminary test of the prosecutor’s new initiative. State aimed at pushing for long-term inmates to be sentenced “in the interests of justice.”
In deciding that Charles Miles should remain in prison, Sacks often repeated this sentence, in a mocking tone.
“It is hardly in the interests of justice to reduce sentences imposed legally,” he said. “…I am not a social worker. If Mr. Miles is in doubt about sentencing, the remedy for Charles Miles is to ask the Governor.
Prosecutors as well as pro bono attorneys for Miles noted that part of the re-sentencing initiative involves intensive support and reinstatement benefits that would be available to Miles — but only if Sacks agreed to early release.
“If you look at his journey, Your Honor, incarceration didn’t work,” Assistant District Attorney Nancy Adduci said in court. Just letting him go in a year without any means of support only risks another recurrence, she said.
“I understand, it’s not easy, but sometimes we have to take certain risks or certain risks,” Adduci said, saying it was a chance for “something to support Mr. Miles, give him the tools he needs. needs to build a return road.”
Miles had a history of burglary convictions before being convicted in the 2010 and 2011 cases, for which he received a combined 25-year sentence. With expected day-to-day credit and some credit for attending certain classes, he is expected to be released in May 2023.
In a statement after court, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said, “We are disappointed with the judge’s decision in the Miles case, but we understand that a judge must look at the facts and the defendant in each individual case and we hope to continue our work in future attempts at recidivism.
While in custody, Miles participated in Narcotics Anonymous and attended training courses, according to his lawyers.
“He’s been there before…we’re trying to prepare him in a different way for him to reenter society when he’s released, he’s successful and he’s ready to do that now,” his lawyer Michael Meneghini told the court. .
Sacks frowned when Miles stood up to speak on his own behalf.
“25 years, I’ve never done this kind of weather before,” Miles said.
“First time for everything,” Sacks replied.
“I’m a different person, I’m a better person,” Miles continued.
“When did you decide that?” Sacks asked.
“I decided that right after I had to accept that I was doing this once,” said Miles, who is incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center. “…Right now, I just want to see a future, I want to move on with my life. Of the things I’ve done, I’ve been doomed, but now, you know what I’m saying, I have all the mindset to do better.
In a lengthy ruling, Sacks called Miles a “congenital burglar” and mocked the classes he took in prison, saying they were barely enough to show he had been rehabilitated. And he was skeptical that Miles would benefit from reintegration programs if he was released early.
“Miles might come out today and say…I came out, I don’t need to do all this,” he said.
Sacks also strongly implied that he believed the law allowing prosecutor-initiated re-sentencing was unconstitutional, though he refrained from making a formal finding from the bench.
Sacks ended the hearing by addressing Miles directly: “Have a good trip to Danville,” he said.
Moments later, as Miles was taken back into custody, he gave the judge a few parting words. “You treat me like a murderer,” he said.
After the hearing, Miles’ brother Cubby told reporters that he wished he could address Sacks himself: “If he gets out of line, I’ll do the rest of the time,” reportedly. he says.
“My brother was guilty, and I can accept that he was guilty,” Cubby said. “But I love him. He’s my little brother.”
Miles was on drugs and running with a bad crowd, but now that he’s sober he’s not likely to reoffend, Cubby said, and the judge “could have been a little more lenient.”
“I say to (Miles), you just gotta stay on your knees, pray to the Lord,” he said.
Miles was one of three people initially identified by prosecutors as candidates for re-sentencing under a new state law allowing prosecutors to proactively seek more lenient sentences for people, though the ruling final always belongs to a judge.
Of the first three motions filed by prosecutors, one was withdrawn after authorities learned that the subject would indeed be released in the coming days. Another petition is pending at the courthouse in suburban Markham. His next court date is set for June.