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The [Wednesday] Papers

"A nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley will stand trial Feb. 18 for involuntary manslaughter in the death of David Koschman," the Sun-Time reports.

Will he? That's certainly the trial date given to Richard Vanecko, but isn't there a good chance he never sees in the inside of a courtroom? My guess is that he pleads out. Gets some combination of probation and community service.

The evidence is likely to be compelling: Vanecko threw the punch that killed Koschman. That's incontrovertible, isn't it? Now, he certainly didn't intend to end the man's life, but that's why the charge is involuntary manslaughter and not murder.

Involuntary manslaughter is defined in Illinois thusly:

A person who unintentionally kills an individual without lawful justification commits involuntary manslaughter if his acts whether lawful or unlawful which cause the death are such as are likely to cause death or great bodily harm to some individual, and he performs them recklessly.

I'm not even sure Vanecko's actions were "likely" to cause "great bodily harm" and certainly not death. It was a bar fight, essentially. Reckless? Yes. Likely to cause some level of harm? Yes, especially given Vanecko's size versus Koschman's size.

It was a horrible thing that happened, but to some degree it was also a fluke (though one could also fairly argue that a sense of entitlement suffused Vanecko and his friends, aggravating the situation). With immense sympathy to the Koschman family, the real outrage here is what happened after the punch was thrown (including Vanecko's refusal from day one to cooperate with police). And in that regard, there apparently will be no justice delivered.

"Daley nephew Richard J. 'R.J.' Vanecko's trial is expected to last more than a week," the Sun-Times reports. "It will be held at the Leighton Criminal Court Building at 26th and California."

I don't think so.


Not to nitpick, but I was taught to always write that a particular event had been "scheduled" instead of assuming it would happen.


I also wonder if the defense is concerned that the judge will feel public pressure to deliver a guilty verdict followed by a relatively stiff sentence. Then again, this is Cook County, and even though the judge has been brought in from McHenry County there could be perceived rewards for doing the Daley family a solid. Then again, without a Daley in the mayor's office and a Daley no longer a possibility for the governor's office, that dynamic may have changed (though rewarding the political system is still beneficient). Sad that we have to consider these possibilities, I know, but this is where we live. It all adds up to a plea to me. Simpler for - and easier on - everyone.

Big Hog, Little Man
"Former Cook County Commissioner William Beavers was sentenced to six months and fined $10,000 Wednesday after being found guilty last spring of being a tax cheat," the Sun-Times reports.

Prosecutors had asked judge James Zagel to sentence Beavers, the self-proclaimed "hog with the big nuts," to 21 months.

It took a federal jury less than two hours last spring to find Beavers guilty. But afterward he insisted he'd been unfairly prosecuted for refusing to wear a wire against fellow Commissioner John Daley.

"Even Ray Charles could see that," Beavers told reporters minutes after his conviction in March. "They thought I was a punk."

I guess you're really just a two-bit tax cheat, Bill.


The big hog with the big nuts is really just a Beavers with little balls.


Played with a lot of variations . . . do beavers gather nuts? Thought about a beaver with his little nuts.

I think this line of comedy is beyond played out. Sorry.


Speaking of John Daley, does he have any juice left? Without his brother in the mayor's office and with no possibility that another brother will be governor, he's sort of shrunk before our eyes, no?


Chicago Board Of Political Education








Credit Report
Regarding the first item in Monday's column:


The Beachwood Tip Line: Where credit is due.


Posted on September 25, 2013

MUSIC - Chicago Music Poster History.
TV - Hollywood Still Can't Get Abortion Right.
POLITICS - Trump's Most Amusing Pardon.
SPORTS - Hammerin' Hank, Kris Bryant Beefs, Bears' Rags.

BOOKS - Being Sure About George Ryan.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Sriracha Chicken Ravioli.

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