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HomeHistory - 1930s

History - 1930s

1930:  The Commission began a public campaign against public enemies by exposing the immunity from criminal action enjoyed by many criminals and by publishing a list of the 28 most notorious gangsters who were public enemies. The list named Al Capone as public enemy number one. This action brought national and international publicity calling attention to the problem.
1931: A second list of public enemies was made public.
1932: The Commission revealed that auto theft was extremely high in Chicago and that public officials were not taking steps to deal with this problem. The Chicago Motor Club and other organizations joined in the effort to combat auto theft. The Chief Justice of the Municipal Court responded by setting up a program of transferring all auto theft cases to the Boys' Court. The Commission also revealed probation judges and the State’s Attorney and his officials were not enforcing the law. It recommended that these officials be removed from office. Virtually all such officials charged with laxity were defeated.
1933: In tandem with other groups, the Commission backed the "Uniform Motor Vehicle Anti-Theft Act," which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly. The Act provided for the title registration of all automobiles bought and sold. Records disclosed that since publication of the public enemy list in 1930, 15 of the 28 persons on the list had been convicted, nine were dead, one was awaiting deportation, eight had cases pending, and the rest were hiding out. 
The Commission backed a proposal of Governor Horner to survey the Illinois parole system. Insurance companies reduced auto theft insurance by 26% as the result of the new title-registration law.
1936:  The Commission proposed and helped draft a new Criminal Code for introduction into the 1937 General Assembly.
1939:  The Commission disclosed that gambling charges were inadequately handled in the Racket Branch of the Municipal Court and issued a bulletin on the operation of the court. It also took an active part in pressing the fight against syndicated gambling and assisted the State’s Attorney in his anti-gambling campaign.