Private Attorneys for 'Tinley Park 5' Express Sympathy for Anti-Racist Cause

The National Lawyer's Guild was helpful in pairing at least some of the Ashford House attack defendants with attorneys who are sympathetic with anti-racist causes. Arraignment was postponed until June 21.

last month hired six attorneys to defend them against the laundry list of charges they've been indicted on.

Authorities allege that "The Tinley Park Five" were overtook the Ashford House restaurant, throwing chairs and .

READ: Our extensive local coverage on the Ashford House Attack.

Each of the Five have been indicted on 37 total counts of mob action, armed violence, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property, but arraignment was held until June 21.

What little evidence the Cook County Public Defender’s Office has received since May—subpoenaed records and a CD—was turned over to respective defense attorneys in court Tuesday.

Cody Sutherlin, 23, Dylan Sutherlin, 20, Alex Stuck, 22, John Tucker, 26, and Jason Sutherlin, 33, .

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Inside the courtroom, prosecutors asked Judge Joan O’Brien for permission to collect DNA samples from each of the defendants and test it against some of the evidence police collected from the Ashford House. They include gloves and hats, shirts, spring-loaded weapons, pieces of broken wood and stains on the sidewalk.

The process of comparing DNA is also known as "consumption" because samples can only be tested once before being destroyed. Some attorneys argue that consumption violates the Constitutional right of due process.

Assistant state’s attorney Michael Deno, lead prosecutor, declined to say why the state was pushing to consume DNA evidence before the men had pleaded.

Judge O’Brien told prosecutors to make preparations but told the defense she would hear their objections in more detail on the next court date.

At least two of the six private attorneys were contacted by “a hodge podge of individuals (and) certain affiliations,” namely the National Lawyer’s Guild, according to Aaron Goldstein, who is representing Jason Sutherlin.

That also includes Stuart Smith, who said he accepted Tucker’s case for free because he sympathizes with .

“It’s just the right thing to do,” he said of working on this case without pay.

Cody Sutherlin’s attorney, James Fennery, said he defended a man on misdemeanor charges that allege he interrupted the Chicago stop on Holocaust-denier David Irving’s tour in 2009.

Other attorneys distanced themselves from the ARA specifically while expressing solidarity for what they stand for. Goldstein enforced the fact that he was representing an individual, not an organization, but said any affiliations the Five or the victims possess would certainly be relevant to the case.

Stuck is being defended by two attorneys, Lawrence Jackowiak and Sara Garber, whom declined to speak about the case.

Several people that came to quietly show support for the Five also declined to talk to reporters, including one bespectacled, long-haired man in a drab "Justice for Carlos Montes" shirt, who added: “They told me say, ‘No comment.’"

A blog post titled "Call to Action: Pack the courtroom for June 12 appearance," which also appeared on the ARA website, instructed sympathizers not to speak at the courthouse with anyone they didn't know.

Updated at 1:46 p.m. on June 13 with more information on the indictment

Peruse our coverage so far on the Ashford House attack.

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Do you think it's right for attorneys to be sympathizing with the Anti-Racist Action cause? Tell us in the comments.

deborah June 14, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I always thought it was an attorney's job to uphold the law and a client's rights under the law, not support or sympathize with her/him or their cause.....
Shannon_Friend June 16, 2012 at 11:52 PM
I wonder if these lawyers are urging their clients not to cut a deal with prosecutors which would presumably require them to finger all the other perps (because these thug/leftie lawyers likely would prefer for all the other perps to remain at large)? If so, this nice free legal representation might be amount to intimidation, and may come at the cost of many extra years in jail for the Tinley Park 5. :-) This case seems to be developing awfully slowly--can't the Patch get some of the prosecutors to say something or other off the record? Prosecutors really shouldn't talk too much of course, but the community is very curious to know what's going on here. Patch should also ask why hate crime charges have not been brought forward (yet). (I have zero use for white supremacists--if that's what some of the victims were--but thugs beating people up because they don't like their views is completely intolerable in a free society.)
Alan Dershowitz June 18, 2012 at 06:27 AM
I doubt that these attorneys are doing this out of the goodness of their collective hearts. Their finances should be investigated to see if anybody else is paying them. There were 13 people who got away and they would be highly motivated to cover the legal bills of the other 5 provided they did not cooperate with law enforcement. If these lawyers were found to be complicit in such a scheme, that wold be obstruction of justice.
Mimereader2 July 08, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Imagine if the people of this nation went over to solving their social controversies in the manner advocated by ARA, and then delivered the Justice system into the hands of those who are clever enough to make it all legal. I would rather be old fashioned and tolerate free speech.


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