Illinois Prosecutors Seeks Harsher Sentence For Jason Van Dyke
The former Chicago police officer was sentenced to seven years after shooting Laquan Mcdonald 16 times.
Illinois prosecutors are challenging Jason Van Dyke's prison sentence after the former Chicago cop was convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Van Dayke shot the 17-year-old a reported 16 times in October 2014 and received a six-year and nine-month sentence.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Kane County State Attorney Joe McMahon have filed a petition, titled a writ of mandamus, in the Illinois Supreme Court asking to vacate Van Dyke's sentence, which many considered too lenient for the crime.
Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan handed down Van Dyke's sentence, which covered the second-degree murder charge. However, CNN reports each of the 16 counts of aggravated battery--one for each time Van Dyke shot the teen--carried a minimum of six years behind bars. When added together Van Dyke could've faced 96 years in prison.
The New York Times reports under Van Dyke's latest conviction he could be released in as little as three years.
McMahon said in a statement they're willing to work with the courts to review Van Dyke's sentencing.
"It is important that a police officer was held accountable for criminal conduct," the statement reads. "But we argued at the sentencing hearing that Jason Van Dyke should be sentenced for the aggravated battery with a firearm convictions. The ability for the prosecution to challenge a sentence is very narrow, but this might be one of those situations."
Van Dyke originally argued self-defense stating Laquan charged at him. However, dash cam surveillance released 13 months after the shooting show he walked away from the officer. If the courts accept the prosecutor's request, Van Dyke's legal team will have seven days to file an objection.