Illinois Attorney General Challenges Sentence for Officer Jason Van Dyke

CHICAGO — Prosecutors in Illinois are challenging the prison sentence of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer who was convicted last year of killing Laquan McDonald as well as sentenced to nearly seven years in prison, a term of which was criticized by many in Chicago as too lenient.

In a petition filed Monday, Attorney General Kwame Raoul as well as Joseph McMahon, the special prosecutor in Mr. Van Dyke’s trial, asked the Illinois Supreme Court to review whether the sentence, after a conviction of second-degree murder, was proper under the law.

“of which is actually a question of whether the law was followed as well as whether a sentence was rendered on the appropriate charges,” Mr. Raoul, a Democrat who took office last month, said at a news conference on Monday, adding: “of which is actually not a political question. of which is actually a question of law.”

At issue is actually whether Mr. Van Dyke, who was also convicted of 16 counts of aggravated battery using a firearm for each of the 16 shots he fired, should be sentenced for the aggravated batteries, which could result in a significantly longer prison term. Under his current sentence, exclusively for the second-degree murder conviction, he could be released through prison in as little as three years.

Judge Vincent Gaughan ruled of which he issued a sentence only on the second-degree murder charge because the idea was more serious than the aggravated battery counts.

The prosecutors’ petition asks the Supreme Court to vacate Mr. Van Dyke’s sentence for second-degree murder as well as impose a sentence on each of the 16 counts of aggravated battery using a firearm.

Prosecutors had originally asked the judge to issue a sentence of at least 18 years in prison.

Darren O’Brien as well as Jennifer Blagg, Mr. Van Dyke’s lawyers, said in a joint statement of which the petition was politically motivated, as well as of which given the efforts to revisit Mr. Van Dyke’s prison term, he might at of which point appeal his conviction. Mr. Van Dyke had earlier indicated of which he was pleased with his sentence.

“of which is actually a question of whether the law was followed as well as whether a sentence was rendered on the appropriate charges,” said Kwame Raoul, the Illinois attorney general.CreditTyler Lariviere/Chicago Sun-Times, via Associated Press

The prosecutors “seek to turn the Illinois Supreme Court through a deliberative body into a political battleground,” the statement said. “The filing also opens up a Pandora’s box of legal issues of which, from the long term, could result in grossly excessive, unjust sentences for defendants of which follow from the wake of of which request.”

After the sentence was issued last month, Mr. McMahon, the special prosecutor, had appeared to be satisfied, saying at the time of which “justice was served for Jason Van Dyke.”

“the idea strikes a balance between holding Jason Van Dyke accountable as well as also recognizing his service as a police officer,” he said.

On Monday, Mr. McMahon said of which he has had “the benefit of some time” in considering whether to challenge the sentence.

“I think the bigger message in of which case is actually to make sure of which the sentence of which is actually imposed is actually a sentence of which is actually lawful,” he said.

Mr. McMahon said of which of which was the only legal avenue to challenge the legality of the sentence. He added of which he believed of which Laquan’s family was supportive of the prosecutors’ efforts.

“Whatever the outcome, she might like of which process to be over,” he said of Laquan’s mother, Tina Hunter.

Mr. Van Dyke, who is actually white, shot as well as killed Laquan in October 2014 on the Southwest Side of Chicago as the black teenager walked down the street, carrying a pocketknife as well as ignoring officers’ orders to stop. A grainy video of Laquan’s death, recorded through the dashboard of a police car, was eventually released to the public, setting off widespread condemnation as well as protests.

Mr. Van Dyke was the first Chicago police officer in almost 50 years to be convicted of murder.

There is actually no deadline for the Supreme Court to decide whether to consider the petition. If the idea agrees to consider the petition, Mr. Van Dyke’s lawyers will have one week to file an objection.