The Latest: Chicago cop’s lawyer heralds ruling on sentence

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the Illinois Supreme Court letting Chicago officer’s sentence stand (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

Illinois’ attorney general has acknowledged his office is effectively out of options to get a new sentencing hearing for a white Chicago police officer convicted of slaying black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul spoke Tuesday after the Illinois Supreme Court denied a request from him and a special prosecutor for the court to toss Jason Van Dyke’s sentence of less than seven years.

Critics say the sentence is far too lenient. With credit for good behavior, Van Dyke could go free in three years.

Both Raoul and Kane County State’s Attorney Joseph McMahon said they respected the court’s decision to let Van Dyke’s sentence stand. Neither had any specific criticism of the court.

An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t appear to be an option, including because the core legal issues have to do exclusively with Illinois law.

___

1:30 p.m.

A lawyer for a white Chicago police officer convicted of killing black teenager Laquan McDonald says he’s “extremely pleased” with a decision by the Illinois Supreme Court to let stand a prison sentence of less than seven years for his client.

The Tuesday decision denies a bid by the Illinois attorney general’s office and a special prosecutor to have Jason Van Dyke resentenced. Critics said the sentence was far too lenient. With credit for good behavior, Van Dyke could be freed in three years.

In an emailed statement, attorney Dan Herbert said he hopes the court’s decision “will strike a fatal blow” for what he called “the political exploitation” of McDonald’s death.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has previously denied politics ever entered into the decision to seek a new sentencing hearing.

___

11 a.m.

The Illinois Supreme Court has let stand a less than seven year prison sentence for a white Chicago police officer convicted of killing black teenager Laquan McDonald that some critics characterized as lenient.

A Tuesday decision denies a bid by the Illinois attorney general’s office and a special prosecutor to resentence Jason Van Dyke.

Jurors in October convicted Van Dyke for second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery. Second-degree murder carries a maximum 20-year prison term. Each count of aggravated battery carries up to 30 years.

The February request focused on highly legalistic issues surrounding sentencing guidelines.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan sentenced Van Dyke for second degree murder only. Van Dyke likely would have received a stiffer sentence if he’d been sentenced on the 16 counts of battery.

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

More from:

National News

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up