No, Chicago Sun-Times, A Smarter Judicial System, Not “Smarter” Gun Laws, Would Have Saved Nykea Aldridge’s Life


No, Chicago Sun-Times, A Smarter Judicial System, Not “Smarter” Gun Laws, Would Have Saved Nykea Aldridge’s Life

The Chicago Sun-Times published an editorial on gun rights, claiming that “smarter laws” would have saved Nykea Aldridge:

Two felons who were out of prison on parole despite their histories of serious crime were charged in the slaying. One of them had been convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in 2011 and the unlawful use or possession of a firearm by a felon in 2013, yet was back on the street.

Too often, those doing the shootings on Chicago streets are people released from prison after earlier gun-crime convictions.

As Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said, “ It’s time … take action when it comes to how we sentence our repeat gun offenders.”

To change that, state Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, and state Rep. Michael J. Zalewski, D-Riverside, are proposing a bill that would push judges to sentence gun offenders to longer sentences within the ranges already set by law. It’s a variation of the concept of mandatory minimum sentences with an important escape clause — in cases in which judges feel a longer sentence is unfair they could reduce the sentence, but they would have to record their reasons for doing so in writing.

The goal is to keep people who repeatedly carry a gun illegally behind bars for longer without sweeping in people who don’t post a risk to others.

Raoul and Zalewski are still discussing the idea with various stakeholders, but they hope to introduce a bill this fall.

From Friday afternoon to Monday morning, 10 people were killed and 57 were wounded in Chicago shootings. It’s time for smarter laws and safer streets.

I agree with Johnson. Action is most definitely needed where it concerns sentencing these repeat offenders. Barack Obama is part of this problem. Right before Aldridge was murdered the President commuted the sentences of another 111 felons, 16 of which were serving sentences from federal gun crimes. Previously our Gun Control President commuted the sentences of 56 felons convicted of gun charges. Obama's judges slap wrists for felonies like straw purchasing (which resulted in the murder of a police officer heading for maternity leave).

It's not a “better gun law” that would have saved Aldridge's life, Sorrells serving his full sentence for his previous gun crime conviction would have saved her. Derren Sorrells was described as a “career gun offender” on parole a mere 14 days for his previous felony conviction. His sentence was reduced, why? His ankle bracelet was deactivated so he could work and instead of working he chose instead to murder a mother strolling her newborn baby alongside her older child on their way to school. Sorrells and his brother Darwin were known gang members:

The Chicago police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson, highlighted the brothers’ past troubles with the law in a news conference after their arrests. Johnson said the brothers’ past encounters with the criminal justice system highlights problems with how the system works. Johnson told the Chicago Tribune: “This tragedy isn’t just noteworthy because Ms. Aldridge has a famous family member. Rather, it shows that the cycle of arrests, convictions and parole isn’t changing the behavior of those who repeatedly commit crimes.”

Where the Chicago Sun-Times, Johnson, and others get it wrong is the idea that new laws are needed to make people follow the existing laws. That doesn't make sense. Follow the minimum mandatory and recall judges who issue wrist slaps (like the judge in the case of Vonderrit Meyers who, brought in on a gun charge among others, reduced his bond from $30k to $1k). Stand up to Chicago's community organizer in the White House for releasing lose in your neighborhoods violent felons convicted of gun charges. If you care about police, stop putting their lives in danger by making them catch and re-catch the same repeat offenders because judges refuse to throw the book at these violent criminals.

This isn't about smarter laws, it's about smarted judicial response of these laws and holding responsible those who dump violent felons onto our streets.


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