Chicago’s top cop pushes for stiffer sentences for repeat gun offenders
By Andrew Shepperson
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson (Photo: WTTW)
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson urged lawmakers Thursday to pass a bill that would lengthen prison sentences for repeat gun offenders in Illinois.
The Chicago Tribune reported the legislation, Senate Bill 1722, would increase sentencing guidelines for Illinois judges deciding on sentences for repeat gun felons, raising the sentencing range from 3-14 years to 7 -14 years. If judges opt out of those guidelines, they would have to provide an explanation.
Johnson said the new guidelines are needed to hold repeat gun offenders accountable.
“It’s the repeat offenders that consistently come back in our neighborhoods and shoot and kill, and if we don’t send a message that we are serious about holding them accountable, then what are we doing?” Johnson said. “When I talk to my neighbors they are asking me, they are begging me to do something about this violence.”
The measure, which was worked on by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and House Republican leader Jim Durkin, ultimately passed out of committee on a 10-3 vote. Bruce Rauner also supports the bill, a rare moment of agreement between he and Emanuel.
“Tougher, more certain sentencing for repeat gun offenders is a critical component of strengthening public safety here