Lori Ann Roper
Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (Clay Vacancy district)
Responses to our questions
Please submit an essay that explains your legal background, why you are qualified for this position and why you seek this position.
My name is Lori Ann Roper and I am a candidate for judge. I am currently an Attorney Supervisor in charge of the Problem-Solving Courts for the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender. The Problem-Solving Courts are: Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Veterans Court, Prostitution Diversion and Restorative Justice Community Court.
I have been a Public Defender for 23 years, my whole legal career. As an Assistant Public Defender, I've been assigned and represented clients in Juvenile Justice, Child Protection, 26th and California, and Markham. I've tried cases from felony Retail Theft to First Degree Murder.
I believe that my diverse legal experience will be an asset to the bench in Cook County. I am qualified because I understand that the legal system isn't perfect but there are ways to make a difference in the lives of people that come in front of you. Making a difference in someone's life doesn't necessarily mean that a defendant will walk away free. It means that your contact with that individual from the beginning to the end of the case is meaningful and respectful.
Attorneys, victims, witnesses and defendants just want to be heard. Everyone wants to feel as if their story matters. That's why I want to be a judge, to show that the rule of law and can be administered in such a way as to bring about resolution and understanding.
I am qualified because I have knowledge of the law and of the Constitution. As a judge, you must be able to give the appropriate sentence for the crime. A judge cannot be afraid to make an unpopular ruling or sentence. As a judge, I would try to focus on services and programs that can help defendants become productive members of society.
We know that a judge can sentence defendants to prison, that's been going on for years. But, what would happen if we tried to rehabilitate and restore defendants? I am seeking the position as judge to help bring about change in the way that we look at punishment in the criminal justice system and help move it towards a restorative and rehabilitative system.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
It might surprise you to learn that I am a SciFi geek! I love Star Wars and Star Trek. I love Marvel and DC comics, Also, I was featured in an article in the Tribune about African Americans going to black banks. My Fiance' and I, at the time were opening an account at Seaway Bank for our wedding.