Prosecutors seek new sentence in Laquan McDonald case - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Prosecutors seek new sentence in Laquan McDonald case

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Noreen Nasir). Attorney General Kwame Raoul, left, and Kane County State's Attorney Joseph McMahon hold a news conference Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Chicago. Raoul and McMahon, who won the conviction against Jason Van Dyke, said they believe J... (AP Photo/Noreen Nasir). Attorney General Kwame Raoul, left, and Kane County State's Attorney Joseph McMahon hold a news conference Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Chicago. Raoul and McMahon, who won the conviction against Jason Van Dyke, said they believe J...
(Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File). FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2019 file photo, former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke attends his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, for the 2014 shooting of Laquan... (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File). FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2019 file photo, former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke attends his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, for the 2014 shooting of Laquan...
  • NationalMore>>

  • Sheriff: No likely survivors in jetliner crash near Houston

    Sheriff: No likely survivors in jetliner crash near Houston

    Saturday, February 23 2019 3:23 PM EST2019-02-23 20:23:24 GMT
    Sunday, February 24 2019 1:43 AM EST2019-02-24 06:43:54 GMT
    Authorities say a Boeing 767 cargo jetliner heading to Houston with three people aboard has crashed into a bay just east of the city.More
    Authorities say a Boeing 767 cargo jetliner heading to Houston with three people aboard has crashed into a bay just east of the city.More
  • R. Kelly met underage girl while on trial for child porn

    R. Kelly met underage girl while on trial for child porn

    Sunday, February 24 2019 12:13 AM EST2019-02-24 05:13:36 GMT
    Sunday, February 24 2019 1:43 AM EST2019-02-24 06:43:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Tom Gianni). ADDS NAMES OF LAWYERS - In this courtroom sketch, R&B singer R. Kelly, attorney Steve Greenberg and prosecutor Jennifer Gonzalez appears before Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, S...(AP Photo/Tom Gianni). ADDS NAMES OF LAWYERS - In this courtroom sketch, R&B singer R. Kelly, attorney Steve Greenberg and prosecutor Jennifer Gonzalez appears before Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, S...
    (AP Photo/Tom Gianni). ADDS NAMES OF LAWYERS - In this courtroom sketch, R&B singer R. Kelly, attorney Steve Greenberg and prosecutor Jennifer Gonzalez appears before Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, S...(AP Photo/Tom Gianni). ADDS NAMES OF LAWYERS - In this courtroom sketch, R&B singer R. Kelly, attorney Steve Greenberg and prosecutor Jennifer Gonzalez appears before Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, S...
    While on trial for child pornography in 2008, R. Kelly still found time to talk to fans, give autographs and to meet an underage girl he later invited to his home.More
    While on trial for child pornography in 2008, R. Kelly still found time to talk to fans, give autographs and to meet an underage girl he later invited to his home.More
  • Heavy rain, floods, even a tornado as storms smack the South

    Heavy rain, floods, even a tornado as storms smack the South

    Sunday, February 24 2019 12:23 AM EST2019-02-24 05:23:32 GMT
    Sunday, February 24 2019 1:43 AM EST2019-02-24 06:43:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jim Lytle). A 1923 Studebaker, left and a 1930 Chevrolet Paddy Wagon are exposed at Lawrence Motors along highway 50 in Columbus, Miss., after a tornado struck the area Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.(AP Photo/Jim Lytle). A 1923 Studebaker, left and a 1930 Chevrolet Paddy Wagon are exposed at Lawrence Motors along highway 50 in Columbus, Miss., after a tornado struck the area Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.
    (AP Photo/Jim Lytle). A 1923 Studebaker, left and a 1930 Chevrolet Paddy Wagon are exposed at Lawrence Motors along highway 50 in Columbus, Miss., after a tornado struck the area Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.(AP Photo/Jim Lytle). A 1923 Studebaker, left and a 1930 Chevrolet Paddy Wagon are exposed at Lawrence Motors along highway 50 in Columbus, Miss., after a tornado struck the area Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.
    Severe storms smack the South with drenching rains, raising the flood threat on swollen rivers; tornado smashes into businesses in a small east Mississippi city.More
    Severe storms smack the South with drenching rains, raising the flood threat on swollen rivers; tornado smashes into businesses in a small east Mississippi city.More

By DON BABWIN
Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) - Prosecutors on Monday asked Illinois' highest court to review the less than seven year prison sentence for the white Chicago police officer who fatally shot black teenager Laquan McDonald - an unusual move in what was already a rare case.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and the special prosecutor who won a murder conviction against former officer Jason Van Dyke, Kane County State's Attorney Joseph McMahon, said they believe Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan improperly applied the law last month when he sentenced Van Dyke to six years and nine months in prison. Raoul and McMahon filed a request with the Illinois Supreme Court seeking an order that could ultimately result in the court forcing Gaughan to impose a longer sentence.

"This is the first step in asking the court to declare that the trial court improperly sentenced Jason Van Dyke for the murder and aggravated battery of Laquan McDonald and to order a new sentencing hearing," Attorney General Kwame Raoul said at a news conference.

Monday's court filing was the latest chapter in an ongoing saga that has included massive demonstrations, the firing of the police superintendent by the mayor and the ouster of the county's top prosecutors by voters a few months later. Police video of the shooting that the city released in 2015 under court order showed Van Dyke firing 16 bullets into McDonald, some of them after the 17-year-old fell to the ground.

The sentence for Van Dyke was the first imposed on a Chicago police officer for an on-duty shooting in a half century. It followed a jury's decision in October to convict the officer of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.

The central issue in prosecutors' petition is an Illinois law that allows a judge to sentence a person for only the most serious crime when he is convicted of multiple crimes for what amounts to a single act. Gaughan determined that second-degree murder was the more serious crime, although it carries a lighter sentence than aggravated battery. The murder charge calls for a sentence of between four and 20 years in prison, compared with six to 30 years in prison for aggravated battery.

Both Raoul and McMahon steered clear of saying whether they believed the sentence was too short. But McMahon had argued in court documents ahead of the January hearing that Gaughan should impose a sentence of at least 18 years in prison. Defense attorneys had sought probation.

One of Van Dyke's attorneys, Darren O'Brien, said Monday that prosecutors' contention that the judge should sentence Van Dyke on the aggravated battery charge because it is more serious than second-degree murder doesn't make sense. 

"It's common sense that the lesser harm of getting shot would merge into the greater harm of getting killed," O'Brien said.

At the January sentencing hearing, Van Dyke, Gaughan, too, had said it was "common sense" that second-degree murder was the more serious charge, calling it an "easy answer."

Prosecutors in their legal filing pointed to a 2004 Illinois Supreme Court ruling in which a majority of justices concluded that aggravated battery is the more serious charge because it carries a stiffer penalty.

Prosecutors cannot directly appeal a sentence but are seeking what is called a writ of mandamus, which can result in an order from the Illinois Supreme Court telling a judge to adhere to the correct law.

"This is the only way for us to challenge the legality of a sentence," McMahon told reporters.

Absent a new sentence, Van Dyke will likely serve only about three years, with credit for good behavior.

Van Dyke's attorneys have notified the court of plans to appeal the conviction, but O'Brien declined to discuss what arguments they may make.

Raoul took office in January, and Van Dyke's attorneys have decried the decision to review the sentence as a political stunt.

Raoul bristled at that suggestion.

"This is not a political question," he said. "This is a question of law."

___

For the AP's complete coverage of the Jason Van Dyke case: https://apnews.com/tag/LaquanMcDonald

___

This story has been corrected to reflect that Raoul and McMahon did not directly address whether they think the sentence was too short.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Hanoi summit nightmare scenario: Bad deals and little change

    Hanoi summit nightmare scenario: Bad deals and little change

    Saturday, February 23 2019 8:33 PM EST2019-02-24 01:33:25 GMT
    Sunday, February 24 2019 1:43 AM EST2019-02-24 06:43:58 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Korea Summit Press Pool via AP, File). FILE- In this combination of file photos, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on May 16, 2018, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a meet...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Korea Summit Press Pool via AP, File). FILE- In this combination of file photos, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on May 16, 2018, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a meet...
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Korea Summit Press Pool via AP, File). FILE- In this combination of file photos, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on May 16, 2018, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a meet...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Korea Summit Press Pool via AP, File). FILE- In this combination of file photos, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on May 16, 2018, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a meet...
    For some observers, the nightmare result of the second Trump-Kim summit is an ill-considered deal that allows North Korea to get everything it wants while giving up very little, even as the mercurial leaders...More
    For some observers, the nightmare result of the second Trump-Kim summit is an ill-considered deal that allows North Korea to get everything it wants while giving up very little, even as the mercurial leaders trumpet a blockbuster nuclear success.More
  • North Korea leader Kim Jong Un boards train to summit

    North Korea leader Kim Jong Un boards train to summit

    Saturday, February 23 2019 9:33 AM EST2019-02-23 14:33:13 GMT
    Sunday, February 24 2019 1:43 AM EST2019-02-24 06:43:47 GMT
    (Oxalis Adventure via AP). In this Monday, Feb. 15, 2019, drone image, cave explores pose with flags of North Korea, Vietnam and the U.S. in En cave in Quang Binh province, Vietnam. Vietnam will host the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trum...(Oxalis Adventure via AP). In this Monday, Feb. 15, 2019, drone image, cave explores pose with flags of North Korea, Vietnam and the U.S. in En cave in Quang Binh province, Vietnam. Vietnam will host the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trum...
    (Oxalis Adventure via AP). In this Monday, Feb. 15, 2019, drone image, cave explores pose with flags of North Korea, Vietnam and the U.S. in En cave in Quang Binh province, Vietnam. Vietnam will host the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trum...(Oxalis Adventure via AP). In this Monday, Feb. 15, 2019, drone image, cave explores pose with flags of North Korea, Vietnam and the U.S. in En cave in Quang Binh province, Vietnam. Vietnam will host the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trum...
    A train similar to one used in the past by Kim Jong Un has entered China, possibly carrying the North Korean leader on a multiday journey to Vietnam's capital for his summit with President Donald Trump.More
    A train similar to one used in the past by Kim Jong Un has entered China, possibly carrying the North Korean leader on a multiday journey to Vietnam's capital for his summit with President Donald Trump.More
  • Venezuela standoff turns deadly as troops block aid delivery

    Venezuela standoff turns deadly as troops block aid delivery

    Sunday, February 24 2019 12:03 AM EST2019-02-24 05:03:37 GMT
    Sunday, February 24 2019 1:43 AM EST2019-02-24 06:43:42 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia). Venezuelan demonstrators throw stones during clashes with authorities, at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, Saturday, Feb.23, 2019. Tensions are running high in the Brazilian border city of Pacaraima. Thousands remained...(AP Photo/Ivan Valencia). Venezuelan demonstrators throw stones during clashes with authorities, at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, Saturday, Feb.23, 2019. Tensions are running high in the Brazilian border city of Pacaraima. Thousands remained...
    (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia). Venezuelan demonstrators throw stones during clashes with authorities, at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, Saturday, Feb.23, 2019. Tensions are running high in the Brazilian border city of Pacaraima. Thousands remained...(AP Photo/Ivan Valencia). Venezuelan demonstrators throw stones during clashes with authorities, at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, Saturday, Feb.23, 2019. Tensions are running high in the Brazilian border city of Pacaraima. Thousands remained...
    A US-backed campaign to force Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro from power met strong resistance from security forces who fired tear gas on protesters trying to deliver humanitarian aid from Colombia and Brazil.More
    A US-backed campaign to force Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro from power met strong resistance from security forces who fired tear gas on protesters trying to deliver humanitarian aid from Colombia and Brazil.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices