Jay Scott is a career prosecutor with more than 25 years experience. A graduate of the University of Illinois and the University of Illinois College of Law, he began his career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Warren County, Illinois in 1987. In 1988 he became an Assistant State’s Attorney in Macon County, where he currently serves as First Assistant State’s Attorney.
Jay has risen through the ranks to the number two position in the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office. He has successfully prosecuted thousands of cases during his career, and has successfully conducted hundreds of trials. To date he has taken 158 felony defendants to trial, achieving a 91% conviction rate. He has prosecuted some of the most serious and complex trials ever held in Macon County. He was a member of the prosecution team that in 2002 convicted Michael Slover, Sr., Michael Slover, Jr., and Jeanette Slover for the 1996 First Degree Murder and dismemberment of Karyn Hearn. In 2004 he prosecuted and convicted James L. Huff for the 1995 abduction and First Degree Murder of three-year-old Sarah Kramer. Most recently, he obtained a guilty verdict in the trial of William J. Richter for the 2008 First Degree Murder of Dawn Marquis. Altogether he has prosecuted more than 30 defendants charged with First Degree Murder, and, since his first murder trial in 1989, has handled 20 First Degree Murder trials, including four death penalty cases.
He started his career handling primarily traffic, DUI, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases. Two years after being promoted to Felony Prosecutor he began ten years as head of the Felony Drug Prosecution Unit, handling major drug distribution, conspiracy, manufacture, and trafficking cases, as well as weapons offenses, First Degree Murder cases, and other violent crimes.
Jay has nearly five years experience in the position of First Assistant State’s Attorney. His duties include office administration, supervising 19 attorneys, determining whether prosecution will be initiated on most felony arrests, and prosecuting First Degree Murder cases.
Jay has successfully prosecuted virtually every type of case handled by the State’s Attorney’s Office:
· First Degree Murder, including death penalty cases
· Reckless Homicide
· Attempt Murder
· Armed Robbery
· Armed Violence
· Aggravated Kidnapping
· Home Invasion
· Weapons Offenses
· Major Drug Distribution, Conspiracy, Manufacturing, and Trafficking Cases
· Elder Abuse and Exploitation
· Domestic Violence
· Sexual Abuse and Assault
· Property and Financial Crimes
· Child Abuse and Neglect
· Drug Asset and Vehicles Used in Crime Forfeiture Proceedings
· Traffic & DUI
· Mental Health Proceedings
· County Civil Proceedings
During his career Jay has been the recipient of the following awards of recognition from law enforcement:
Illinois State Police Region III Commander Certificate of Recognition, 2003
“In recognition of the exemplary professionalism and unfailing dedication you displayed during the investigation of the homicidal death of Sergeant Myron Deckard of the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office. Your actions as a member of the criminal justice team which investigated and prosecuted the perpetrator of this crime contributed significantly to its successful outcome and reflected favorably upon your personal commitment to your role as a public servant.”
Illinois State Police Task Force X Award, 2001
“In Acknowledgement and Appreciation of Your Support and Dedication on Behalf of Task Force X-Decatur.”
Illinois M.E.G. Directors and Task Force Commanders Association Award, 1999
“In Recognition and Appreciation of Your Outstanding Prosecutorial Activities in Support of Task Force X-Decatur.”
Illinois State Police Task Force X Policy Board Award, 1998
“In Acknowledgement and Appreciation for your Energetic Work, Devotion, and Contribution to Task Force X-Decatur.”
Illinois M.E.G. Directors and Task Force Commanders Association Award, 1997
“In Recognition of Your Dedicated Performance in Prosecuting Task Force X Drug
As a Drug Prosecutor he compiled a trial conviction rate of 97 %, securing guilty verdicts against 94 felony drug offenders, which included the biggest drug dealers and traffickers in Macon County history. His drug trials resulted in sentences totaling more than 1100 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The sentence of 75 years imprisonment for Criminal Drug Conspiracy imposed following a jury trial Jay prosecuted in 2001 ranks as the lengthiest sentence in a drug case in Macon County history. He also aggressively pursued the profits made by narcotics dealers and traffickers, obtaining the forfeiture of more than $3.2 million worth of drug money and assets, money which went directly to law enforcement to fight the war on drugs.
Throughout his career Jay has maintained a close working relationship with law enforcement, and has been involved in numerous major criminal investigations. He has tirelessly worked alongside law enforcement officers in the team effort to seek justice and to maintain public safety.
Jay, in conjunction with the Decatur Police Department and the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, recently implemented the office’s Major Case Call-Out Response, which establishes a protocol in the event these agencies desire assistance during the investigation of homicide cases. Pursuant to this protocol, Jay or another experienced Assistant State’s Attorney, along with State’s Attorney’s Office Investigators, are available to respond to the Law Enforcement Center, 24 hours a day, to be present as the investigation progresses in order to assist the investigation, to provide legal advice, and to expedite obtaining arrest or search warrants. To date the protocol has been utilized on two occasions, leading to the prompt apprehension of violent offenders.
In addition to his duties as a criminal prosecutor, Jay has been an active administrator within the State’s Attorney’s Office, establishing innovative ways to handle cases. In 1992 he developed and implemented the Adult Diversion Program, and in 1995 he developed and implemented the Deferred Prosecution Program. Both programs divert appropriate first-time criminal offenders out of the court system, imposing sanctions within the State’s Attorney’s Office, rather than through formal prosecutions in court. These programs reduce the court caseload, thereby eliminating the costs to taxpayers that would be inherent in prosecuting these cases, and help reduce recidivism. Currently more than 320 cases on average are processed through the Adult Diversion Program each year, and Macon County receives an average of more than $100,000 annually in program fees. The Deferred Prosecution Program is geared toward offenders with drug dependencies. It provides participants with the added benefit of solving their substance abuse issues through drug treatment, thereby breaking the cycle of continued criminal activity.
Beginning in 1997 Jay served as Project Director for the Macon County Drug Court Planning Committee, which established the first Macon County Drug Court. Drug Court provides intensive court-monitored intervention and treatment for non-violent offenders with drug dependencies. Although after several years in operation Drug Court was discontinued due to funding issues, the State’s Attorney’s Office is currently involved in the process of developing a second Drug Court.
Jay lives in Decatur and is a member of Pilgrim Lutheran Church.