Courtroom 302

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A very significant case in Cook County Courts was the Bridgeport case, known as a “heater” case because of the publicity that surround it, and the racial overtones (Bogira 181). The Bridgeport case involved three white teenagers, Michael Kwidzinski, Jasas, and Caruso that were accused of brutally beating two young black boys who were riding their bikes in the predominantly white neighborhood. The entire summary of the case, in Courtroom 302, was based around the fact that one of the boys, Michael Kwidzinski, was most likely innocent. The question then turns to the boy himself, Michael Kwidzinski; if he was innocent, why did hid then accept a guilty plea bargain?
Kwidzinski was dealing with the case for a year and a half before even getting
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Jenson, Caruso’s lawyer, wanted to call two girls from the party to testify against Guadagno. Judge Locallo said the state would then be allowed to call Deena, Caruso’s ex girlfriend, to testify. Deena’s statement would then not only implicate Guadagno in the case but it would also place Caruso, Jenson’s client, at the scene of the crime (Bogira 329). If Guadagno would have been forced to testify he would have been viewed as the third criminal and could have cleared Kwidzinski of any charges.
A significant reason the courts continued with prosecuting Kwidzinski was that reversing the charges would make people question the legitimacy of the case all together. The state’s attorney’s office had already charged three alleged attackers. If there was any doubt of Kwidzinski being involved in the case there would be a problem with the lawyers of the other two attackers by trying to jump on the bandwagon to freedom. Even though Kwidzinski may have been justifiably innocent and wrongly accused, the attorneys for Jasas and Caruso would have claimed their clients were wrongly accused as well.
Another major reason for keeping the prosecution for Kwidzinski going is when prosecuting attorney O’Reilly presented to the grand jury a request for an indictment on Caruso, Jasas & Kwidzinski, he presented one

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