Mayor and State’s Attorney Call for Harsher Gun Sentences

gunThe year of 2013 has been bloody in Chicago, actually it has been the bloodiest start of the year since a decade ago.  There were 42 homicides in Chicago for the month of January.  And according to a CBS report, the number of homicides in Chicago was three times that of New York City, even though New York City has over three times the population.

The national attention for this violent month has spurred community leaders and politicians to plead for a change.  On Monday February 11th, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to ask for harsher sentences for gun crimes.  They were also joined by Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Alvarez has asked lawmakers to consider lengthening the sentences for criminals arrested for illegally possessing guns.  The current sentence is two years but Alvarez asked for an increase to three, with repeat offenders getting five years.

Rahm Emanuel had rough words for the current state of the justice system.  He called it a “turnstile and a revolving door” which does not punish the offenders.  The average person who is found guilty of a gun crime only serves half the time sentenced in jail with good behavior, usually only a year.  He called for truth-in-sentencing guidelines for these crimes, which means that at least 85 percent of the sentence must be served.

These measures could be considered during the spring session.  Anita Alvarez added that “We must bear some responsibility.  Our current gun laws simply are not working, they are not strong enough.”  If you have been charged with a gun crime including possessing a weapon without a permit or unlawful use of a weapon then it is important to have legal guidance.  Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Chicago today.

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