A day after his office announced plans to review the 81-month prison sentence handed down to former Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul declined to discuss the basis for his decision.
Raoul on Friday also dismissed defense attorney Dan Herbert’s claim that he was exploiting McDonald’s death for his own “political gain.”
“That doesn’t merit a response,” Raoul said.
While speaking to reporters shortly before giving a speech at a criminal justice reform forum downtown Friday, Raoul said, “It’s the domain of the attorney general to play the role of determining what, in the end, is brought to the high court on behalf of the people of the State of Illinois.”
Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan handed down the sentence last week in the slaying of Laquan McDonald, shocking activists and McDonald’s relatives. Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon had asked Gaughan for an 18-20-year term. Defense attorneys sought probation.
Raoul told reporters he decided to review the sentence after “the issue was brought to me by staff.”
He declined to say how long the review might take.
“It’s nothing new,” he said of this type of review. “It didn’t start with Kwame Raoul. It’s been happening for years. So on that basis, we’re reviewing the record and the law.”
He said he has not yet spoken to McMahon about the case, but says he expects to do so at some point.
Also on Friday, Raoul said that he was unaware of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s position on recreational marijuana. On Thursday, Foxx spoke of her support for legalization and announced plans to expunge all misdemeanor marijuana convictions.
“I haven’t had any conversations with her about that,” Raoul said. “The devil is always in the details.”
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January 25, 2019 at 12:52PM