CBA Record Jan-Feb 2021

Y O U N G L A W Y E R S J O U R N A L One Night at Belmont andWestern By Jeffrey Moskowitz, YLS Chair

CBA YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION Chair Jeffrey Moskowitz J. Moskowitz Law LLC

prey. I am a victim, but I am not weak; I am not easy prey. Many of us go about our lives thinking that something like this won’t happen to us. We walk in groups, remain vigilant when we are alone, or we believe we are not a target because of our gender. Unfortu- nately, no matter what precautions we take, becoming a victim can be just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The man the police believe pointed the gun at me was caught with the proceeds from another armed robbery the day after the attempt on me. He was charged with a misdemeanor and released on his own recognizance. Several weeks later, he was caught with the proceeds from another armed robbery, but this time he was car- rying a gun with an extended clip. He was charged with armed robbery. In Illinois, armed robbery with a firearm carries a sentence of 21-45 years and the sentence is served at 50%, which means the person will do half of the time that they are sen- tenced to. According to the Chicago Police Department website, there have been 7,418 robberies this year. This number does not include attempted robberies. To bring you back to your law school days, robberies differ from thefts in that a robbery is the taking of something from a person by force or threat of force. This generally means that you are face-to-face or in very close proximity with the person taking something from you. After that night at Belmont and West- ern I was left with one burning question: was the gun loaded? If in fact it was, it is difficult for me to fathom that someone would take another’s life over a cell phone. So, I leave you with these questions: if that many people place the value of life as the value of a cell phone, then is our society broken? Assuming the perpetrator in my case is convicted and sentenced to 21 years, will sitting in prison for 11.5

First Vice-Chair Tracy Brammeier Clifford Law Offices, P.C.

Second Vice-Chair Chastidy Burns

Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender

Member Service Manager Marty Gould Romanucci & Blandin LLC Public Service Manager Kenneth Matuszewski Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP Project Officer John Risvold The Collins Law Firm PC

F or those of you who may not be aware, the Chicago intersection of Belmont and Western is home to a police station and formerly a branch court. It is affectionately known as Belmont and Western. I’ve been to Belmont andWestern dozens of times, typically in my capacity as an attorney to attend court or to see a client who is in custody being questioned. My most recent visit was different. I did not go as an attorney poised to help a client; rather, I was there as a victim. Late last fall, I was out for a walk in Lincoln Park. It was an unseasonably warm night and many people were out walking, enjoying the beautiful weather. I, too, was enjoying my walk when suddenly two men tried to rob me at gun point. Fortunately, I was able to run and managed to get away with only a few scrapes and bruises. While it was merely an attempt, they took from me something far more valuable than the items I was carrying. We are born inno- cent, but as life goes on there are events that deprive you of that innocence. Our innocence allows us to blissfully enjoy life without a debilitating fear of impending doom. Innocence is the ability to take a stroll and enjoy a beautiful night without fear that someone may take your life over your belongings. In that instant I became a “victim.” I feel that society stereotypes victims as weak, unable to protect themselves, easy

Project Officer Daniel Berkowitz Office of the Illinois Attorney General Secretary/Treasurer Gavin Phelps Attorney at Law

Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal Kaitlin King Hart David Carson LLP Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal Alexander Passo Latimer LeVay Fyock LLC Vice Chair YLS Journal Jacob B. Berger Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC

YLS Director Lindsay Wunrow

32 January/February 2021

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