By Suzannah Gonzales
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois Lawyer Normal Kwame Raoul and a prosecutor on Monday challenged the sentence of former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke for the homicide of a black teenager, questioning whether or not the choose who imposed it adopted the regulation on account of his failure to account for different convictions.
Van Dyke, 40, who’s white, was sentenced final month to just about seven years in jail for second-degree homicide within the taking pictures demise of Laquan McDonald in 2014 in a case that highlighted racial tensions in America’s third-largest metropolis.
Activists and prosecutors had needed an extended sentence. Van Dyke may have acquired as much as 20 years in jail for second-degree homicide and as much as 30 years for every of 16 counts of aggravated battery – one rely for every shot he fired on the 17-year-old McDonald, who was carrying a knife.
Prepare dinner County Circuit Courtroom Choose Vincent Gaughan didn’t sentence Van Dyke for the aggravated battery convictions, explaining that second-degree homicide was the extra severe crime. Van Dyke is interesting the conviction.
Raoul, who took workplace final month, and Kane County State’s Lawyer Joseph McMahon, the particular prosecutor within the case, filed a petition on Monday asking the Illinois Supreme Courtroom to assessment the sentence.
They argued that aggravated battery is a extra severe offense than second-degree homicide beneath Illinois regulation and requested the supreme court docket direct Gaughan to vacate his sentence. In addition they requested for a sentence on every of the 16 counts of aggravated battery and to find out which of these concerned “extreme bodily damage” warranting consecutive sentences.
“It is a query of the regulation. And it’s within the curiosity of justice that the regulation be adopted regardless of who the defendant and regardless of who the sufferer is in a selected case,” Raoul advised reporters.
Van Dyke’s attorneys Darren O’Brien and Jennifer Blagg stated in a press release the petition was politically motivated and “may lead to grossly extreme, unjust sentences for defendants that comply with within the wake of this request.”
The responsible verdict issued by a jury in October marked the primary time an on-duty Chicago police officer was convicted for the killing of a black particular person.
The discharge of a police dashboard digital camera video displaying McDonald being repeatedly shot – compelled by a lawsuit greater than a yr after the Oct. 20, 2014, taking pictures – ignited protests.
The following firestorm over the case prompted the dismissal of the town’s police superintendent and requires Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign. Emanuel is just not looking for a 3rd time period on this month’s mayoral election.
The video was proven repeatedly throughout Van Dyke’s three-week trial. Jurors stated they faulted Van Dyke for escalating the incident.
A federal choose on Jan. 31 authorized court-appointed oversight of the Chicago Police Division to handle a 2017 U.S. Justice Division discovering of extreme power and racial bias by officers.
(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales and Karen Pierog in Chicago; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Enhancing by Invoice Berkrot)