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Emanuel calls for higher gun penalties, longer sentences

Monday, Feb 11, 2013

* There’s no bill number yet, so we can’t look at the fine print. But this is from a press release…

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy today announced the introduction of statewide gun safety legislation that increases minimum sentencing for the most serious gun crimes and requires offenders to serve at least 85 percent of the imposed sentences. […]

According to a recent University of Chicago Crime Lab analysis, the average sentence for a crime committed with a gun was slightly longer than two years, but offenders only served approximately one year in prison. After implementing a similar mandatory minimum law in New York, offenders began serving their full sentences while the murder rate and prison population fell by double digits. […]

The proposed legislation would have the following impacts:

    · Increase the penalty for felons who carry guns, from two years to three years, with subsequent offenses requiring a minimum of five years.
    · Increase the minimum sentence for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon when the offender does not possess a valid FOID card and the gun is in their possession and loaded, from one year minimum to three years minimum.
    · Add these specific gun crimes to the list of serious crimes that are subject to Truth in Sentences guidelines, requiring that offenders serve at least 85% of their sentence.

Until legislation is passed, the State’s Attorney has issued a directive to all Assistant State’s Attorneys to pursue the maximum possible sentence on gun crimes.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


32 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    Like


  2. - Fair Share - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:36 am:

    “millions for the symptom, zero for the cure.”


  3. - downhereforyears - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    Great idea, all sides should agree to this. Hey, were any representatives of the Judges there.?


  4. - wishbone - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    Finally, a gun control measure that targets the criminals, and not the law abiding gun owner. The ISRA and NRA should come out in strong support of this initiative, but, of course, they won’t because they are not very bright.


  5. - Endangered Moderate Species - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    Wishbone- The NRA has a record of supporting tougher penalties for criminals.


  6. - Niles Township - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    This worked in NY. Tougher sentencing for gun crimes resulting in fewer gun crimes in that state. Period.


  7. - bored now - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    fits with NRA talking points, that gun laws aren’t enforced…


  8. - Bluefish - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    What also helps in NYC is their “stop and frisk” policy. Find a gangbanger with an illegal gun and he (and the gun) is off the streets for a long time.


  9. - Ahoy! - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    Seems reasonable on the surface, I found it interesting that increasing the punishment and extending the prison time would lead to reduction in the prison population. If we have a proven method to reduce violence and reduce the prison population at the same time, who wouldn’t be for this?


  10. - Cincinnatus - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    I thought we already had a bill called something like 10-20-Life that talks about the additional sentence for commission of a felony with a weapon.


  11. - Cincinnatus - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    It’s called “15-20-Life” sponsored a few years ago by Dillard. There is also a bill about “drive by” shootings sponsored by Dillard.


  12. - Todd - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    the AG UUW will need to be worked over. You’re talking about a 3 year sentance for mere possession. Now if the person is a prohibited class, that is one thing. But if not, it is another.

    right now the state police have a backlog of 70,000 FOID apps. people are having their FOID card expire while they wait to get their new one.

    Also you may have out of state indivuduals who don’t need or get a FOID. And at what time goes a regulatory/possession just earn you a 3 year stint?

    Let us not forget that the State has to pass a carry law, so Rahm wants a New York no issue law, Quinn wnats one that says you can’t step off the sidewalk, and then they want to bump these penalites. Me thinks there is a bit of a problem here. . .


  13. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    How about making all violent offenders serve at least 85% of their sentences? I know guns are the hot issue, but if someone stabs someone, is that really any better?


  14. - Amalia - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    Feds need to prosecute more gun crimes.

    also, who cares if the person with wrongful possession is not of a prohibited class? if they are breaking the law, they should not get a break. “mere possession” must be the gun discussion equivalent of calling illegal immigrants undocumented.

    if they are of a prohibited class they should be hit harder for the wrongful possession but anyone who violates the law should get the penalty.


  15. - WazUp - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    Let’s see Quinn closes prisons, sells another one, remaining are over capacity along with Cook County Jail…soooo we are putting them where?


  16. - Ken_in_Aurora - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    As presented here, *like*. Finally, something out of the Tiny Terror that actually addresses the criminal behavior rather than the tool.


  17. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 12:39 pm:

    Whatever.

    As long as the drug wars don’t spill over into the Loop, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, etc., expect press conferences and press releases.

    Until it does, for the powers-that-be, it’s a matter of public relations, not public safety.

    The folks who live in the combat zones have little money or clout. And for the last 180 years or so, those are the things that have mattered in Chicago.

    We’re talking about high-risk, high-reward criminal enterprises. It’s multi-million-dollar organized crime, it’s domestic terrorism of the highest order.

    At this point, Chicago’s combat zones probably require a federal response, a la South Florida in the 80s.

    No amount of praying or crying for the cameras are going to put the terrorists out of business.

    Here’s an idea: Instead of Gangster Disciples, let’s call them Al-Quada. Instead of Vice Lords, let’s call them the Taliban.

    That should be good for about $10 billion a month in pacification and rebuilding, if history is a guide.


  18. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    As I see it part of the problem is sentencing means you won’t serve the full time. And for many prison gives the credibility and bragging rights on the street. If, and that is the big word, if our politicians are serious, then 100% time served, no cable TV, no fun time. Just hard time. A little hard labor wouldn’t hurt either to pass the years. Violent offenders, especially repeat offenders deserve long sentences. We stopped the death penalty, but life, no parole, and no comfort is not a bad idea.


  19. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:07 pm:

    I love this idea.

    “Here’s an idea: Instead of Gangster Disciples, let’s call them Al-Quada. Instead of Vice Lords, let’s call them the Taliban.”

    Despite your snark, Word, I think you are literally correct; gangbangers *ARE* terrorists and should be treated as such.


  20. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    Anon, no snark from me. Just a commentary on priorities.


  21. - Jeeper - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:38 pm:

    Have crime and violence rates in Chicago increased or decreased since changing the UUW statute that changed carrying a concealed handgun from a misdemeanor to a felony on 1 January 1995?

    I think (but I am not certain) that both have increased.

    Have crime and violence rates in Chicago increased or decreased since the “14-20-life” law was passed?

    Again, I think (but I am not certain) that both have increased.

    Increasing the penalties at least twice that I know of has not helped Chicago.

    Perhaps repealing these unsuccessful laws would help…

    Who doubles down on failed policies like Illinois?


  22. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:41 pm:

    –Perhaps repealing these unsuccessful laws would help…-’-

    Why’s that? Are you going to gun down organized crime drug dealers?

    What’s the crime rate in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, St. Louis, Memphis, Little Rock, etc.?

    No problem having firearms in those towns.


  23. - USMCJanitor - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    Those are great talking points, but they also need to be looked at. What about people that dont have to have a FOID (out of staters)…

    My problem is that they only ever have talking points. Show me actual bills. The problem is they cant do a smart bill like the one listed above, instead it has to be a 50 page list of guns and ammo to ban on top of this stuff.

    Propose this, you may see some of us gun guys back you. But you cant, you know you cant.


  24. - Rail Rider - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    Those baddies will now really, really get in trouble for breaking the law. Real, real, real trouble.

    I just hope they’re paying attention and reading Capitol Fax and the Trib.

    I’m sure the criminals, whose real problem is that they have no respect for the law, will perk up and say, “Hey, I won’t do that anymore, I might get in trouble!”

    /sarcasm


  25. - USMCJanitor - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    Rail,
    I have no problem having punishment for crimes.
    There can be an argument made though that mandatory sentencing laws create problems and can setup mandatory punishment that may not fit the crime.

    that said, these people seem to be grasping at straws. Their talking points and what they want seem to change each week or two. Which shows that they DO NOT KNOW what will really work, they just have to do SOMETHING!!!!


  26. - Bob - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    A CBS Report, last week!!!
    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/02/01/chicago-murder-number-triple-new-york-city-in-january/

    “In Chicago, most of those convicted don’t serve any jail time, meaning people likely to possess a weapon illegally remain on the street. About 44 percent of those cases result in no jail time, while 33 percent are simply dismissed.

    “The bottom line is if you are criminal and you are thinking, ‘Do I take that gun when I leave the house today or not,’ the risk factor in most major cities is pretty low,”

    So if this report is true? Only about half go to jail. It doesn’t say prison. and 33% are dismissed.
    Now lets look at another aspect, that needs investigating. Corrections parole agents are not allowed to revoke parole on violators. Inmates released from prison who are on parole with drugs, guns, and other crimes are not being violated. This has been going on for years! Corrections does not have the room to hold all the violators. So a criminal with a gun in Chicago is very unlikely to do prison time. Until Chicago gets tough on the criminals, they are going to have problems. Very few murders are solved in Chicago? Would you want to be person who lives in the same area, and go testify against a gang member. Remember the other gang member’s on the street who carry guns.


  27. - Motambe - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    I wonder, does anyone know the per capita numbers of officers in the Chicago PD? I heard it was much lower when compared to New York. Given positions not filled and budget cuts, is that accurate?


  28. - SO IL M - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 5:02 pm:

    Yes and no.
    · Increase the penalty for felons who carry guns, from two years to three years, with subsequent offenses requiring a minimum of five years.—A small step but a step none the less. Should be made a Class-X with 10 years at 85% for first offense and go up from there.

    · Increase the minimum sentence for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon when the offender does not possess a valid FOID card and the gun is in their possession and loaded, from one year minimum to three years minimum.—-To many possible “What ifs” to work out. Such as the FOID backlog, Non residents who hold a CC permit in another State, First time Offenders, and more that will come up.

    This wouldnt be an end all, but it would be a start anyway.


  29. - What is to be done? - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 6:18 pm:

    Wow,two slaps on the hand instead of one!


  30. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 6:50 pm:

    =I love this idea.

    “Here’s an idea: Instead of Gangster Disciples, let’s call them Al-Quada. Instead of Vice Lords, let’s call them the Taliban.”

    Despite your snark, Word, I think you are literally correct; gangbangers *ARE* terrorists and should be treated as such. =

    Oswego Willy pretending to be Anonymous again?


  31. - county chairman - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 7:50 pm:

    the problems in chicago are the cops are corrupt judges are corrupt and the politicians are corrupt they keep passing legislation to look good for the rest of the world


  32. - reformer - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 10:15 pm:

    Anyone, whether liberal or conservative, who proposes longer prison sentences ought to explain where this state is going to come up with the money. The state is broke. We’re cutting spending on everything.


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