Money Talk

Episode 98

Retired Circuit Judges Stuart P. Borden & John A. Barra

Retired Judge Borden is from Wyoming, Illinois. He was Stark County’s State’s Attorney then was appointed as an Associate Judge for the Tenth Judicial Circuit. He was elected Stark County Circuit Judge and retained as Circuit Judge again in 2006. He served as chief judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit from August 2007 through 2010. Judge Borden retired from the bench in 2012. Among Judge Borden’s interesting cases was one relating to Karen McCarron’s attempt to secure a retrial for murdering her autistic daughter, Katie, by reason of alleged incompetence of trial counsel. Judge Borden disagreed, finding that trial counsel’s conduct “did not fall below an objective standard of reasonableness.”

Retired Judge Barra of Pekin, Illinois was an assistant State’s Attorney for Peoria County from 1974-1980, served as the Peoria County State’s Attorney from 1980-1988 and was elected a circuit judge for the Tenth Judicial Circuit in 1988. He served as the chief judge for the Tenth Judicial Circuit from August 2001 until his term ended in 2006. Judge Barra retired from the bench in 2009. Among Judge Barra’s interesting cases was one relating to the battle over the characterization of a free weekly newspaper as news or litter. Judge Barra ruled that distributors could toss the East Peoria Times-Courier on private but not public property. More specifically, “when the plaintiff tosses the newspaper onto private property, it clearly intends for the homeowner to pick it up and read the material and the ads. The Plaintiff does not intend to discard the newspaper. Doing so, therefore, cannot be littering.”

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