Chicago — Illinois’ legal professional normal on Monday requested the state’s highest court docket to evaluate what prosecutors contemplate to be a too lenient sentence for the white Chicago police officer who fatally shot black teenager Laquan McDonald. Lawyer Common Kwame Raoul and the particular prosecutor who received the conviction in opposition to Jason Van Dyke mentioned they imagine Choose Vincent Gaughan didn’t correctly apply the legislation when he sentenced Van Dyke to 6 years and 9 months in jail. 

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In a uncommon transfer, Raoul and Kane County State’s Lawyer Joseph McMahon filed a request with the Illinois Supreme Courtroom searching for an order that will ship the case again to Gaughan for a brand new sentence.

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Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke and his legal professional Daniel Herbert pay attention throughout Van Dyke’s sentencing listening to on the Leighton Legal Courtroom Constructing, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Chicago, for the 2014 taking pictures of Laquan McDonald.

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune through AP, Pool

Absent a brand new sentence and with credit score for good conduct, Van Dyke will doubtless serve solely round three years for firing 16 bullets into McDonald in 2014. Dashcam video of the taking pictures launched by town in 2015 confirmed Van Dyke continued to fireplace because the 17-year-old crumpled to the road and lie on the bottom. The sentence was the primary imposed on a Chicago police officer for an on-duty taking pictures in a half century.

Monday’s transfer is the newest chapter in an ongoing saga that has included large demonstrations, the firing of the police superintendent by the mayor and the ouster of the county’s prime prosecutors by voters a number of months later, the decide’s ruling to condemn Van Dyke to lower than seven years in jail was met with anger and disappointment by activists and McDonald’s household.

Raoul reacted shortly. In one in every of his first strikes after taking workplace in January, he introduced he would evaluate the sentence Gaughan had handed down simply days earlier.

Van Dyke was convicted final 12 months of second-degree homicide and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. The homicide cost carries a jail time period of 4 to 20 years, however Gaughan additionally may have given Van Dyke probation for that rely. The aggravated battery counts carry a sentence of six to 30 years behind bars and doesn’t enable for probation alone.

At his sentencing listening to final month, Van Dyke’s protection requested the decide to condemn Van Dyke to probation on the second-degree homicide conviction alone, whereas prosecutors argued he also needs to be sentenced on the aggravated battery counts. The minimal for these convictions might be as excessive as 96 years, however prosecutors requested a decide for 18 to 20 years.

Laquan McDonald


Gaughan, in issuing his sentence, dominated in favor of the protection to condemn Van Dyke on the second-degree homicide conviction. In submitting their request Monday, Raoul and McMahon requested the state supreme court docket to vacate Van Dyke’s conviction for second-degree homicide and impose a sentence on every of the 16 aggravated battery counts, based on a press launch from the legal professional normal’s workplace. They requested the court docket to find out which of the aggravated battery convictions constituted “extreme bodily damage,” which might warrant consecutive sentences.

“It can be crucial {that a} police officer was held accountable for felony conduct,” McMahon mentioned in a press release. “However we argued on the sentencing listening to that Jason Van Dyke ought to be sentenced for the aggravated battery with a firearm convictions. The flexibility for the prosecution to problem a sentence could be very slender, however this could be a kind of conditions.”

The court docket has no timeframe to rule on whether or not it’ll contemplate the petition, based on the legal professional normal’s workplace. Van Dyke would then have the flexibility to file an objection.


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