IL Prosecutors Seek Tougher Sentence in McDonald Killing

The llinois Attorney General and a special prosecutor told the state Supreme Court that the six year, nine month sentence for former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke for the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald was too light.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul asked the state Supreme Court for a tougher prison sentence for former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke for the 2014 fatal shooting of a 17-year-old in a case that led to protests and a Justice Department probe, the Wall Street Journal reports. A judge sentenced Van Dyke to six years, nine months in prison for the second-degree murder of Laquan McDonald. Raoul and special prosecutor Joseph McMahon said the sentence should be vacated in favor of a sentence based on the 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm that a jury also convicted Van Dyke of in October. Any of those convictions could warrant consecutive sentences, meaning .Van Dyke could receive a longer prison term.

Van Dyke’s attorneys said the prosecutors’ filing “opens up a Pandora’s box of legal issues that, in the long term, could result in grossly excessive, unjust sentences for defendants.” They said Van Dyke had “no choice but to appeal his conviction.” Marvin Hunter, McDonald’s great uncle, called the sentence unsatisfactory given the circumstances of his great-nephew’s death. “He didn’t die with the first shot, he suffered, then died,” Hunter said, adding “Who could ever have faith in the criminal justice system if we allow to stand what this man did. It’s not a small thing.” Prosecutors argued that Van Dyke used excessive force when he shot McDonald 16 times after officers responded to reports of a man breaking into vehicles. Van Dyke testified that he acted in self-defense as the teen advanced on him with a small knife.