Illinois attorney general challenges Van Dyke murder sentence
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and a prosecutor on Monday challenged the sentence of former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke for the murder of a black youngster, wondering whether or not the pass judgement on who imposed it adopted the legislation because of his failure to account for different convictions.
FILE PHOTO: Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke watches the prosecution’s last statements all the way through his trial for the taking pictures demise of Laquan McDonald on the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., October four, 2018. Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Pool by way of REUTERS/File Photo
Van Dyke, 40, who’s white, used to be sentenced closing month to almost seven years in jail for second-degree murder within the taking pictures demise of Laquan McDonald in 2014 in a case that highlighted racial tensions in America’s third-largest town.
Activists and prosecutors had sought after an extended sentence. Van Dyke can have won as much as 20 years in jail for second-degree murder and as much as 30 years for each and every of 16 counts of irritated battery – one rely for each and every shot he fired on the 17-year-old McDonald, who used to be sporting a knife.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Gaughan didn’t sentence Van Dyke for the irritated battery convictions, explaining that second-degree murder used to be the more severe crime. Van Dyke is interesting the conviction.
Raoul, who took place of job closing month, and Kane County State’s Attorney Joseph McMahon, the particular prosecutor within the case, filed a petition on Monday asking the Illinois Supreme Court to study the sentence.
They argued that irritated battery is a extra critical offense than second-degree murder beneath Illinois legislation and asked the excellent courtroom direct Gaughan to vacate his sentence. They additionally requested for a sentence on each and every of the 16 counts of irritated battery and to decide which of the ones concerned “severe bodily injury” warranting consecutive sentences.
“This is a question of the law. And it is in the interest of justice that the law be followed no matter who the defendant and no matter who the victim is in a particular case,” Raoul instructed newshounds.
Van Dyke’s lawyers Darren O’Brien and Jennifer Blagg stated in a observation the petition used to be politically motivated and “could result in grossly excessive, unjust sentences for defendants that follow in the wake of this request.”
The accountable verdict issued through a jury in October marked the primary time an on-duty Chicago police officer used to be convicted for the killing of a black individual.
The free up of a police dashboard digital camera video appearing McDonald being time and again shot – forced through a lawsuit greater than a 12 months after the Oct. 20, 2014, taking pictures – ignited protests.
The resulting firestorm over the case caused the dismissal of town’s police superintendent and requires Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to renounce. Emanuel isn’t in search of a 3rd time period on this month’s mayoral election.
The video used to be proven time and again all the way through Van Dyke’s three-week trial. Jurors stated they faulted Van Dyke for escalating the incident.
A federal pass judgement on on Jan. 31 licensed court-appointed oversight of the Chicago Police Department to handle a 2017 U.S. Justice Department discovering of over the top drive and racial bias through officials.
Reporting through Suzannah Gonzales and Karen Pierog in Chicago; Writing through Caroline Stauffer; Editing through Bill Berkrot