Thursday, September 06, 2007
The look of hate and Overlook of the Legal System.
THE DOCTOR | Daley says he'll push French to return accused killer of Loop dermatologist
Mayor Daley said Wednesday he plans to use his upcoming trip to Paris to lobby French officials to extradite Hans Peterson, the man suspected of killing downtown dermatologist David Cornbleet.
Daley disclosed plans to flex his diplomatic muscle -- during upcoming meetings with the mayor of Paris, Chicago's sister city -- after the City Council approved a resolution demanding that France reverse its stand and extradite Peterson.
Peterson, who was born in the United States but holds dual citizenship because his mother was born in France, turned himself in to authorities on the French-controlled island of St. Martin last month and allegedly confessed to killing Cornbleet. Peterson allegedly said he killed Cornbleet because the doctor prescribed him acne medicine in 2002 that made him impotent.
The French are refusing to send Peterson back to Illinois to face charges, saying it would violate their laws. Peterson has been named in Cook County arrest warrants.
"I'm not shy to bring anything up,'' the mayor said. "To me, that person should be extradited back into Illinois. It's very, very important. If everybody flees to another country and they have dual citizenship who commit violent crime, it will basically destroy the fabric of our society. That is unacceptable.''
When asked about France's pledge to try Peterson under its own laws, which do not include the death penalty, Daley, a former state's attorney, said, "Yeah, but [he'll] be out in about 10 years."
Meanwhile Wednesday, the Cornbleet family posted a photo of Peterson on a Web site that was originally designed to track the killer. Now, the family has shifted gears, using the Web site to generate help to challenge France's position.
"We're not going to do it in St. Martin,'' said Jon Cornbleet, one of Cornbleet's two children. "We're going to do it here. I have been assured by a lot of people there is going to be a lot of noise about this.''
The Council resolution was introduced by Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), who said France's refusal to extradite Peterson "offends our sense of decency and what is justice. ... We should all be appalled. ... It is a manipulation of the legal system -- not only of the United States, but of the French legal system and international law that somebody can get away ... with murder to leave this country to face a different country's laws."
After the vote, Fioretti went to the back of the Council chambers and hugged a grateful Jon Cornbleet.
Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama have already sent letters to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and French authorities to argue for Peterson's extradition.
"It's gratifying that the politicians have gotten involved in this,'' Cornbleet said. "I definitely think it'll make a difference. This is a country trying to establish ties with the U.S."
He added, "What Hans Peterson is doing is despicable. He's making a mockery of our judicial system and what all of us as American citizens believe in. He's also making an absolute mockery of France and causing a lot of animosity toward France."
"It's gratifying that the politicians have gotten involved in this. I definitely think it'll make a difference.
The Cornbleet family deserves an American court to adjudicate this crime under American law. Hans Peterson sought French citizenship as a criminal and his application is solely for the purpose of bypassing the American justice system. We cannot allow American criminals to pick and choose which country law should apply to them.