* Zorn writes about the case of Derrick Allmon, who’s accused of deliberately killing 9-year-old Antonio Smith after he served half his prison sentence and was released…
“A violent criminal was let out early under (Gov.) Pat Quinn (and) murdered a 9-year-old boy,” seethed Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner on Tuesday.
But Allmon wasn’t let out “early.” He was let out exactly when the prosecutors and the courts expected he would be let out on the day he was sentenced. He was let out exactly when the law, passed by Democrats and Republicans in Springfield, said he should be let out.
“We cannot allow this to continue to occur,” continued Rauner.
If by “this” he means a pervasive misunderstanding by the public of how prison sentences work — a misunderstanding to which Rauner opportunistically contributed by trying to score political points off the death of Antonio Smith — then I agree. […]
Or if by “this” Rauner means rewriting sentencing laws to give judges the latitude to keep dangerous people behind bars for longer periods or removing this fig leaf commonly known as “good time,” I also agree.
But if by “this” he means a sentence-reduction program that was discontinued several years ago and has been replaced (under Quinn!) by an incentive-based program only for those convicted of nonviolent crimes, I call rubbish.
I probably excerpted too much, but go read the whole thing to fully appreciate the arguments here.