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Zorn on “early release”

Friday, Sep 26, 2014

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

6 Comments
  1. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    There has to be other examples out there that were actually part of the MGT program. Why in the world would Rauner be so sloppy as to reference a case that has nothing to do with Quinn?


  2. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    ==- Demoralized - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 2:34 pm:==

    Rauner is delivering hot takes, auditioning for a Fox News version of First Take.


  3. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Eric has been doing good work on this since the MGT Push scandal first broke. As he says == Journalists, judges, prosecutors and lawmakers ought to start putting much more emphasis at sentencing on the time that a convict is expected to serve ==

    But let’s not forget that MGT Push was a mistake. IDOC replaced the 60-day minimum stay with an 11-day minimum stay, as well as other choices that resulted in people being victimized by criminals who would have still been locked up under the old policy.

    Illinois Issues had a good roundup of the program http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/mgt-push-report-may-spur-legislation.html as well as the “scathing report from a panel the Governor appointed to look into” this http://www.illinois.gov/publicincludes/statehome/gov/documents/MGT%20Report.pdf


  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    Demo, in this case, Rauner is not being sloppy. No one is so ignorant that they can’t distinguish between the early release program and parole.

    Rauner’s doing precisely what he intends to: dishonestly and cynically exploiting the murder of a child for his own political benefit.

    I am surprised that he said that stuff himself. It’s better to have surrogates do the dirty work if you’re going to get that far down in the gutter.


  5. - Ghost - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    === Rauner’s doing precisely what he intends to: dishonestly and cynically exploiting the murder of a child for his own political benefit. ====

    but, but he has an 18 dollar watch and an old van, he would never do something so viscious and mean spirited! like taking medicare money to treat the elderly and then not providing the treatment…..
    Actually the State could make a lot of money if we collected the taxes but didnt pay for the stuff….hmmmmm


  6. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    yep, if you keep lying long enough, you really won’t get stopped until…you hope….you win the race. shameful.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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