(Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

Illinois High Court Lets Van Dyke Sentence Stand

March 19, 2019 - 6:05 pm
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CHICAGO (AP) – The Illinois Supreme Court has let stand a less than seven-year prison sentence for a white Chicago police officer convicted of killing black teenager Laquan McDonald that some critics characterized as lenient.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan sentenced Van Dyke for second-degree murder only. Van Dyke likely would have received a stiffer sentence if he'd been sentenced on the 16 counts of battery.

In an emailed statement, attorney Dan Herbert said he hopes the court's decision "will strike a fatal blow" for what he called "the political exploitation" of McDonald's death.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has previously denied politics ever entered into the decision to seek a new sentencing hearing.

Related: Jury Convicts Jason Van Dyke Of Second-Degree Murder

Jurors in October convicted Van Dyke for second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery. Second-degree murder carries a maximum 20-year prison term. Each count of aggravated battery carries up to 30 years.



Jurors in October convicted Van Dyke for second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery. Second-degree murder carries a maximum 20-year prison term. Each count of aggravated battery carries up to 30 years.

The February request focused on highly legalistic issues surrounding sentencing guidelines.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan sentenced Van Dyke for second-degree murder only. Van Dyke likely would have received a stiffer sentence if he'd been sentenced on the 16 counts of battery.

A lawyer for Van Dyke he's "extremely pleased" with the decision.

In an emailed statement, attorney Dan Herbert said he hopes the court's decision "will strike a fatal blow" for what he called "the political exploitation" of McDonald's death.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has previously denied politics ever entered into the decision to seek a new sentencing hearing.

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