The Chicago Crime Commission announced that Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow will be honored on Wednesday, November 7th at its Stars of Distinction, 2012 Awards Dinner. Glasgow will receive the prestigious Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award for his outstanding effort in the prosecution of former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
“We are pleased to recognize the efforts of Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow by honoring him with the Chicago Crime Commission’s Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award,” according to J.R. Davis, President and Chairman of the Chicago Crime Commission. “His unrelenting commitment to justice prompted the passage of legislation that will forever affect how prosecutorial procedures are carried out in Illinois,” he added.
After nearly two years of litigation before the Third District Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court, State’s Attorney Glasgow and his team were granted a ruling that would change the course of the case. In April 2012 the Third District Appellate Court effectively overturned Judge Stephen White’s earlier decision by ruling that the prosecution team could use eight statements made by both the victim prior to her death and by Peterson’s still-missing fourth wife, Stacy, prior to her disappearance.
The Peterson prosecution was a five-year process that involved a number of groundbreaking initiatives. The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office conducted an 18-month Special Grand Jury investigation following the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. In addition, State’s Attorney Glasgow filed a petition to exhume the body of Kathleen Savio, after which second and third autopsies revealed compelling new evidence that assisted him in proving she was murdered and not the victim of a slip-and-fall accident.
State’s Attorney Glasgow also worked with the General Assembly to draft and enact new legislation that placed the concept of “forfeiture by wrongdoing” into the Illinois criminal rules of evidence. Forfeiture by wrongdoing enables prosecutors to enter relative and probative hearsay statements into evidence if they can prove a defendant killed a witness to prevent him or her from testifying. The Illinois Supreme Court eventually adopted the common law doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing in its decision regarding a DuPage County murder case and then adopted the federal rules on forfeiture by wrongdoing.
On September 6, 2012 after a lengthy and contentious trial, a jury convicted Drew Peterson of the first-degree murder of Kathleen Savio. He currently awaits sentencing. “Through patience and diligence, James Glasgow brought a guilty man to justice. He truly exemplifies the meaning of the title ‘Prosecutor’,” Davis commented.
The Chicago Crime Commission Stars of Distinction Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award is named after the late assistant U.S. Attorney who is credited with convicting some of Chicago’s most notorious organized crime figures in the Operation Family Secrets trial. “As a recipient of the Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award, Glasgowfinds himself in the company of some of Illinois’ finest prosecutors,” Davis continued. “Past recipients of the award include state and federal prosecutors responsible for ridding our communities of street gang leaders, outfit members, drug dealers and murderers,” he added.
The Stars of Distinction, 2012 Awards Dinner will honor individuals and the organizations they serve in recognition of their outstanding work in law enforcement. “Recipients of the Stars of Distinctionawards stand out among the ranks because of their commitment and dedication to the fight against crime,” Davis concluded.