Criticizing Illinois’ criminal justice system for its lack of truth in sentencing, Mayor Emanual and city leaders are demanding stricter gun laws.
During a news conference Monday a the 15th District Police Station on the West Side, Emanuel said he will work with lawmakers in Springfield on a more comprehensive gun strategy.
Emanuel wants to increase prison terms for people convicted of gun related crimes. Currently, the average sentence for someone convicted of a gun crime is two years, but most offenders served just one year.
The proposed legislation comes as two suspected gang members are questioned in the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who has become the unofficial face of gun violence in Chicago.
Pendleton was killed January 29th as she and a group of friends stood in a Kenwood park. Police believe a gunman mistook the teens for rival gang members.
Police made the arrests early Sunday, one day after Pendleton’s funeral. Prosecutors have not yet filed charges.
Chicago murder victims, including Hadiya Pendleton, served as the inspiration for the proposed legislation.
It calls for increasing the penalty for felons caught with a gun from two years to three. It increases the sentence for someone convicted of a gun crime and does not have a FOID card from two years to three years in prison. Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy want offenders to serve 85% of their sentences.
McCarthy says when New York City passed similar gun legislation, that city’s murder rate dropped.