Illinois Attorney General Challenges Sentence for Officer Jason Van Dyke – News

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CHICAGO — Prosecutors in Illinois are difficult the jail sentence of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer convicted final yr of killing Laquan McDonald, whose dying galvanized the town and compelled an overhaul of the police division.

In a petition filed Monday, Lawyer Normal Kwame Raoul and Joseph McMahon, the particular prosecutor in Mr. Van Dyke’s trial, requested the Illinois Supreme Court docket to evaluate whether or not the sentence was correct beneath the legislation. Final month, Choose Vincent Gaughan sentenced Mr. Van Dyke to lower than seven years in jail for second-degree homicide, a time period that many individuals in Chicago complained was too lenient.

“It is a query of whether or not the legislation was adopted and whether or not a sentence was rendered on the suitable fees,” Mr. Raoul, a Democrat who took workplace final month, stated at a information convention on Monday, including: “That isn’t a political query. That may be a query of legislation.”

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At difficulty is whether or not Mr. Van Dyke, who was additionally convicted of 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm for every of the 16 photographs he fired, needs to be sentenced for the aggravated batteries, which might lead to a considerably longer jail time period. Below his present sentence, solely for the second-degree homicide conviction, he could possibly be launched from jail in as little as three years.

Choose Gaughan dominated that he issued a sentence solely on the second-degree homicide cost as a result of it was extra critical than the aggravated battery counts.

The prosecutors’ petition asks the Supreme Court docket to vacate Mr. Van Dyke’s sentence for second-degree homicide and impose a sentence on every of the 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.

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“It is a query of whether or not the legislation was adopted and whether or not a sentence was rendered on the suitable fees,” stated Kwame Raoul, the Illinois legal professional common.Credit scoreTyler Lariviere/Chicago Solar-Occasions, through Related Press

Prosecutors had initially requested the decide to difficulty a sentence of not less than 18 years in jail.

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After the sentence was issued final month, Mr. McMahon, the particular prosecutor, had gave the impression to be glad, saying on the time that “justice was served for Jason Van Dyke.”

“It strikes a stability between holding Jason Van Dyke accountable and in addition recognizing his service as a police officer,” he stated.

On Monday, Mr. McMahon stated that he has had “the good thing about a while” in contemplating whether or not to problem the sentence.

“I feel the larger message on this case is to make it possible for the sentence that’s imposed is a sentence that’s lawful,” he stated.

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Mr. McMahon stated that this was the one authorized avenue to problem the legality of the sentence. He added that he believed that Laquan’s household was supportive of the prosecutors’ efforts.

“Regardless of the end result, she would really like this course of to be over,” he stated of Laquan’s mom, Tina Hunter.

Mr. Van Dyke shot and killed Laquan in October 2014 on the Southwest Facet of Chicago as {the teenager} walked down the road, carrying a pocketknife and ignoring officers’ orders to cease. A grainy video of Laquan’s dying, recorded from the dashboard of a police automotive, was finally launched to the general public, setting off widespread condemnation and protests.

Mr. Van Dyke was the primary Chicago police officer in virtually 50 years to be convicted of homicide.

There isn’t any deadline for the Supreme Court docket to determine whether or not to think about the petition. If it agrees to think about the petition, Mr. Van Dyke’s attorneys could have one week to file an objection. His attorneys couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

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