Longtime Cook County Judge Diane Gordon Cannon dies after extended medical leave

Cannon is perhaps most known for acquitting then-Chicago Police Cmdr. Glenn Evans of charges he shoved a gun in a suspect’s mouth and threatened to kill him.

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Cook County Judge Diane Gordon Cannon

Longtime Cook County Judge Diane Gordon Cannon died Saturday, a spokesperson for Chief Judge Timothy Evans confirmed Monday.

Sun-Times file

Longtime Cook County Judge Diane Gordon Cannon, who developed the reputation of being pro-prosecution during nearly 25 years on the bench, died Saturday, a spokesperson for Chief Judge Timothy Evans confirmed Monday. She was 65.

Evans’ office wasn’t able to confirm a cause of death for Cannon, though she had been battling cancer for some time. Cannon, who declined to seek retention on the upcoming ballot, had been absent from the bench since the beginning of the year on paid sick leave, the Injustice Watch reported.

Cannon served as an assistant state’s attorney for Cook County before her election to the bench in 1996. She presided over the felony courtroom at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, which is the county’s largest criminal courthouse.

Cannon developed a controversial reputation and was known by defense attorneys for her harsh treatment toward defendants and verbal outbursts, according to the Associated Press. As a result, attorneys removed Cannon from cases at a much higher rate than other Cook County judges, according to a recent analysis of Cook County court data by the Better Government Association and Injustice Watch.

Cannon is perhaps most known for a 2017 ruling when she acquitted then-Chicago Police Cmdr. Glenn Evans of aggravated battery and official misconduct charges after he was accused of shoving a gun in a suspect’s mouth and threatened to kill him. Cannon said she was convinced the DNA found was “touch DNA” that could have been transferred to the weapon from Evans’ own hands after struggling with the suspect.

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