CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon are asking the state’s highest court to order a new sentencing hearing for former Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was sentenced to less than seven years in prison for the murder of Laquan McDonald.
Raoul and McMahon filed a petition for a writ of mandamus, challenging the legality of that sentence. They argue it was improper for Judge Vincent Gaughan to sentence Van Dyke only for his conviction for second-degree murder, and not for the 16 counts of aggravated battery, which they noted carry a longer minimum sentence.
“This is the first step in asking the court to declare that the trial court improperly sentenced Jason Van Dyke for the murder and aggravated battery of Laquan McDonald, and to order a new sentencing hearing,” Raoul said.
Last month, Gaughan sentenced Van Dyke to 81 months — or 6 3/4 years — in prison for second-degree murder, ruling that charge was a more serious crime than aggravated battery.
Raoul and McMahon noted Supreme Court precedent, however, that second-degree murder is a less serious offense, since aggravated battery has a more serious penalty.
If the Illinois Supreme Court does order a new sentencing for Van Dyke, Raoul said they will ask the court to also order the judge to sentence Van Dyke for all 16 counts of aggravated battery.
This is a developing story…