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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Illinois Sentencing Guideline for Robbery + Assault + Attempted Murder by a Black on a White: One Year

 


By Andrew L. Wang and Liam Ford
December 30, 2009
Chicago Breaking News

(Also published in the December 31 Chicago Tribune

In the photo, Jennifer Hall sits beside her boyfriend Joe Hoffman. Her hair cascaded down both sides of her face and lips were parted in a half-smile. It was Aug. 25, 2008, her 36th birthday.

"My hair was down to my waist for 20 years," she said. "I woke up bald -- no teeth, 85 staples in my head -- out of a drug-induced coma."
 



Two hours after the photo was taken, Hall and Hoffman were attacked by a homeless man, Derrick King, near Wabash and Roosevelt Streets after they told him they didn't have any cigarettes. King and an accomplice [Joyce Burgess] beat, stomped and kicked Hall unconscious, she said.
 



King was arrested and both Hall and Hoffman thought when he pleaded guilty in October and sentenced to three years in prison that he wouldn't be able to harm anyone else, at least for a while.

But King was paroled just 18 days after pleading to two counts of robbery in his attack on Hall, according to state records.

Despite his three-year sentence, he received credit for serving a little more than 13 months in Cook County Jail and was one of more than 1,700 inmates released between Sept. 16 and Dec. 14 under the Department of Corrections' accelerated Meritorious Good Time Program.
 



The program, which Gov. Pat Quinn halted on Wednesday, did not require felons to spend at least 61 days in prison before being credited for time served.

After he was released, King promptly threatened another woman, near the same place he attacked Hall, yelling "Remember the couple who got beat real bad for not giving a cigarette? That was me," police said.

Meanwhile, the past year has seen difficult times for Hall. She had to move away from the South Loop, her home for the previous nine years, because she was afraid to walk the streets. She separated for a time from her boyfriend. And she still struggles with the aftermath of her injuries -- she can walk and talk, she said in an interview Wednesday, but her jaw still falls out of joint, she still has seizures, and nerve damage prevents full use and feeling of her left foot.

"It's been hard on me. It's been hard on (Hoffman). It's been hard on our families," Hall said. "But apparently it wasn't hard enough on Derrick King."

Hall and her boyfriend had celebrated Hall's birthday at a nearby restaurant before heading to the Jewel Food Store at Roosevelt Road and Wabash Avenue on Aug. 25, 2008, when King and Joyce Burgess came up to them and asked for cigarettes, Hoffman told the Tribune last year.
 



After telling King they had no cigarettes, the couple started to walk away when Burgess attacked Hall from behind and knocked her to the ground, Hoffman said. When Hoffman tried to help Hall, King attacked him, then attacked Hall, who was fighting Burgess, Hoffman said.

King ran over and kicked Hall in the head and face, knocking out her teeth, Hoffman told the Tribune. Hall lost 20 of her teeth, according to a Web site she and Hoffman later set up to ask for help with her medical bills.

"Jen was viciously kicked in the head until she became unconscious," the Web site states. "An unprovoked altercation that left Jen lying in a pool of her own blood with only four teeth left in her mouth. Medical experts familiar with Jen's trauma said that nine out of 10 people in her condition are brain dead and don't survive."
On Wednesday, Hall said surgeons later told her that her heart stopped twice while they operated on her after the attack.

"He killed me two times," she said.

Burgess was charged with two counts of robbery for the attack against Hall and Hoffman but is still serving time in Lincoln Correctional Center, according to state records.

King initially was charged with attempted murder, robbery and assault, but through a plea deal, he was convicted of only two counts of robbery, while the other charges were dropped. Hall and Hoffman weren't entirely satisfied with the agreement, but they accepted it, though it meant, Hall said, that King "basically got a slap on the wrist for stealing a cell phone."

When they learned of the Oct. 20 attack, they were outraged -- first that he was out and no one told them, then that he served just over two weeks of his sentence.

"When I first heard about the attack, I went off on the state's attorney. I just went off the wall," Hoffman said, telling an assistant state's attorney, " 'Why is (King)... on the street? He didn't even serve half of his sentence.' "

A day after his parole, on Oct. 21, King approached a woman at about 3:20 a.m. in the 500 block of West Roosevelt Road and asked her for a smoke, police said. She said no.

"He told her: 'Remember the couple who got beat real bad for not giving a cigarette? That was me,' " Chicago police said at the time of the attack.

King then charged at her, police said. The woman caught the attention of two police officers patrolling nearby who quickly arrested King. The incident happened a mile west of the attack on Hall.

"I was livid," Hall said of the attack on the other woman. "I almost felt responsible."

Almost. Mostly she blames the system -- the prosecutors, the department of corrections, the politics -- that allowed King to walk free after coming dangerously close to ending her life.

"I'm angry with everyone over this. I don't think anybody is doing their job correctly. I'm upset with every aspect of this as a whole," she said, "and I just want to move on."

[Readers familiar with Chicago Tribune socialist Eric Zorn may suspect that I pulled an early April Fool’s Day trick, in putting Zorn’s name on my own work. To such a charge, I must plead, “Not guilty!” Don’t ask me what was in Zorn’s coffee that morning, but he wrote a pretty righteous column on Derrick King.]


Monday, January 04, 2010
Time to get serious about prison terms
By Eric Zorn

Eighteen days?! Outrageous.

Last week we learned that Derrick King, 48, was recently sent home from an Illinois prison on an accelerated early release program a mere 18 days after he arrived to serve time for beating a Chicago woman.

That's less than one day per tooth that King knocked out of Jennifer Hall's mouth when he struck her during an August 2008 altercation outside a South Loop supermarket. That attack left Hall near death in a drug-induced coma, 85 surgical staples in her head.

Hall and her boyfriend, Joe Hoffman, were out celebrating her 36th birthday when King and his accomplice, Joyce Burgess, approached the couple and asked for cigarettes.

When the couple said they didn't have any cigarettes, witnesses said, King instigated the bloody confrontation that followed. When police arrested King and Burgess not long after the incident, Hoffman identified them as the assailants, and Burgess was in possession of Hall's cell phone.

And, yes, it was outrageous that King spent just 18 days at Stateville Correctional Center before being released in October as part of the now-suspended Meritorious Good Time "Push" program instituted to save money at our cash-strapped prisons.

The 18 days were on top of 13 months he had already served at Cook County Jail, so his actual time behind bars was closer to 14 months.

But still. Even without any bonus good-time credits, King, who is now back in prison for violating parole, would have been – likely will be – released after being locked up for just 18 months.

Eighteen months?! That's far more outrageous.

Predators who inflict the sort of damage King inflicted upon Jennifer Hall not only deserve to be locked up for a long, long time, the interest of public safety also demands that we lock them up for a long, long time.

The Cook County state's attorney's office decided against filing attempted murder charges against King. Witnesses said he had punched Hall in the mouth to get her off his back as she attempted to protect Hoffman, according to the spokeswoman Sally Daly.

Prosecutors took a plea bargain for robbery and aggravated battery charges, and a judge gave King just three years, in part because he had no criminal record.
Burgess, who had a prior record, received a five-year sentence.

Such prison terms are a fiction. Three years actually equals 18 months because prisoners get day-for-day good time credit.

But the term "good time" also is a fiction. You may have an image in your mind's eye of a repentant inmate quietly, politely earning credit for exemplary behavior in order to qualify for this benefit.

But in fact, short of being convicted of a new crime behind bars, it's impossible to lose good time credit, according to Department of Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith.

Though those convicted of murder no longer get the credit and those convicted of certain violent offenses must serve 85 percent of their original sentences, even inmates who fling feces at the guards don't lose good time credit for it.

"Meritorious good time" credits and "supplemental good time" credits for actual good behavior get added to mandatory good time, which is why so many thugs return to our streets so quickly.

The excuse for this is that we can't afford to lock them up for longer periods. But Jennifer Bishop Jenkins, founder of the victims' rights group IllinoisVictims.org, is among those saying the real problem is priorities -- we waste far too many resources locking up low-level, nonviolent offenders, many of whose crimes are related to illegal drugs, and so we don't have room to keep the dangerous predators where they belong.

"I'm not a crazy right-winger who wants to lock everyone up for life," said Jenkins, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for a northwest suburban seat on the Cook County Board. "I believe in rehabilitation. But seriously violent people need to be locked up for serious amounts of time."

Eighteen years?! That's more like it.

Photos -- From the Illinois Department of Corrections web site and via Jen Hall.

LINKS & RESOURCES

Jen Hall's recovery web site, The Walking Miracle

IllinoisVictims.org

Quinn ends controversial prison early-release program (Chicago Tribune)

'A big mistake' (Chicago Tribune)

Violent attack shattered lives (Chicago Tribune)

Who's locked up in Illinois? From the Fiscal Year 2008 Annual Report from the Illinois Department of Corrections (.pdf)

Prison Population on June 30, 2008
Offense/ number / percent of prison population
Homicide 9,139 20.1%
Kidnapping 281 0.6%
Sexual Assault 4,424 9.7%
Sexually Dangerous 149 0.3%
Other Sex Offenses 711 1.6%
Assaultive 2,572 5.6%
Home Invasion 820 1.8%
Robbery 1,447 3.2%
Armed Robbery 2,594 5.7%
Weapons 1,852 4.1%
Disorderly Conduct 38 0.1%
Armed Violence 233 0.5%
Controlled Substance Act 9,778 21.5%
Cannabis Control Act 574 1.3%
Theft 934 2.1%
Retail Theft 1,110 2.4%
Fraud 609 1.3%
Burglary 3,088 6.8%
Residential Burglary 1,650 3.6%
Arson 238 0.5%
Damage to Property 170 0.4%
Vehicle Code Violation 553 1.2%
Motor Vehicle Theft 999 2.2%
Government Offenses 299 0.7%
Escape 190 0.4%
DUI 1,096 2.4%
Total 45,548 100.0%
"Good time" is had by all:
From the IDOC website:

What is Good Time?

There are four types of good time, however not all inmates are eligible for each type.

Statutory Good Time refers to the percentage of time an inmate must spend incarcerated. Some inmates convicted of non-violent crimes must spend 50% of their sentences incarcerated. Others who are convicted of violent crimes must spend 85% of their sentences incarcerated under "truth in sentencing" laws, or 100% if convicted of murder. The inmate's release date is based on the custody date of the crime which is set by the sentencing court.

Meritorious Good Time refers to the discretionary 90-days the director may grant to any inmate based on their behavior while incarcerated. Please note that the award of meritorious good time is not automatic, it is at the discretion of the director.
Supplemental Meritorious Good Time refers to a second block of 90-days that the director may award to nonviolent offenders. Again, it is not automatic and inmates convicted of violent crimes and Class X crimes are not eligible. Meritorious good time must be earned before supplemental meritorious good time will be considered.
Earned Good Conduct Credit refers to time earned by an inmate for participation in education, drug treatment or Illinois Correctional Industries programs. Again, not all inmates are eligible; inmates convicted of violent and Class X crimes are not eligible. Inmates earn one-half day off their sentence for each day of participation in such programs if they successfully complete the programs (Example: if an eligible inmate completes a drug treatment program that is 30-days in duration, he may be awarded 15-days off his sentence).

From Illinois Compiled Statutes:
Truth in Sentencing Statute
730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(a)(2) In August 1995, Truth in Sentencing legislation was enacted under Public Act 89-404. However, this law was declared unconstitutional in its entirety by the Appellate Court of Illinois and the Illinois Supreme Court for violation of the single-subject rule of the State constitution. Public Act 90-593, which became effective on June 19, 1998, reenacted the original Truth in Sentencing provisions. Changes have been made since that time with the passage of Public Acts 90-740, 91-121, 91-357, 92-178, and 92-854.

Cited from the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(a)(2)), Truth in Sentencing provisions are described below:

(2) The rules and regulations on early release shall provide, with respect to offenses committed on or after June 19, 1998, the following:
(i) that a prisoner who is serving a term of imprisonment for first degree murder or for the offense of terrorism shall receive no good conduct credit and shall serve the entire sentence imposed by the court.
(ii) that a prisoner serving a sentence for attempt to commit
• first degree murder
• solicitation of murder
• solicitation of murder for hire
• intentional homicide of an unborn child
• predatory criminal sexual assault of a child
• aggravated criminal sexual assault
• criminal sexual assault
• aggravated kidnapping
• aggravated battery with a firearm
• heinous battery
• aggravated battery of a senior citizen
• aggravated battery of a child
shall receive no more than 4.5 days of good conduct credit for each month of his or her sentence of imprisonment; and (iii) that a prisoner serving a sentence for
• home invasion
• armed robbery
• aggravated vehicular hijacking
• aggravated discharge of a firearm
• armed violence with a category I weapon or category II weapon >
when the court has made and entered a finding, pursuant to subsection (c-1) of Section 5-4-1 of this Code, that the conduct leading to conviction for the enumerated offense resulted in great bodily harm to a victim, shall receive no more than 4.5 days of good conduct credit for each month of his or her sentence of imprisonment.

(2.1) For all offenses, other than those enumerated in subdivision (a)(2) committed on or after June 19, 1998, and other than the offense of reckless homicide as defined in subsection (e) of Section 9-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 committed on or after January 1, 1999, or aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof as defined in subparagraph (F) of paragraph (1) of subsection (d) of Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, the rules and regulations shall provide that a prisoner who is serving a term of imprisonment shall receive one day of good conduct credit for each day of his or her sentence of imprisonment or recommitment under Section 3-3-9. Each day of good conduct credit shall reduce by one day the prisoner’s period of imprisonment or recommitment under Section 3-3-9.

(2.3) The rules and regulations on early release shall provide that a prisoner who is serving a sentence for reckless homicide as defined in subsection (e) of Section 9-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 committed on or after January 1, 1999, or aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof as defined in subparagraph (F) of paragraph (1) of subsection (d) of Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, shall receive no more than 4.5 days of good conduct credit for each month of his or her sentence of imprisonment.

Cited from the Unified Code of Corrections (720 ILCS 5/9-3 (e), (e-5), (e-7) and (e-8)), Reckless Homicide is defined as follows:

(e) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (e-5), (e-7) and (e-8), in cases involving reckless homicide in which the defendant was determined to have been under the influence of alcohol or any other drug or drugs as an element of the offense, or in cases in which the defendant is proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have been under the influence of alcohol or any other drug or drugs, the penalty shall be a Class 2 felony, for which a person, if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall be sentenced to a term of not less than 3 years and not more than 14 years.

(e-5) In cases involving reckless homicide in which the defendant was determined to have been under the influence of alcohol or any other drug or drugs as an element of the offense, or in cases in which the defendant is proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have been under the influence of alcohol or any other drug or drugs, if the defendant kills 2 or more individuals as part of a single course of conduct, the penalty is a Class 2 felony, for which a person, if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall be sentenced to a term of not less than 6 years and not more than 28 years.

(e-7) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (e-8), in cases involving reckless homicide in which the defendant was driving in a construction or maintenance zone, as defined in Section 11-605 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, the penalty is a Class 2 felony, for which a person, if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall be sentenced to a term of not less than 3 years and not more than 14 years.

(e-8) In cases involving reckless homicide in which the defendant was driving in a construction or maintenance zone, as defined in Section 11-605 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, and caused the deaths of 2 or more persons as part of a single course of conduct, the penalty is a Class 2 felony, for which a person, if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall be sentenced to a term of not less than 6 years and not more than 28 years.

Cited from the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(a)(2)), Truth in Sentencing provisions are described below:

(2.4) The rules and regulations on early release shall provide with respect to the offenses of aggravated battery with a machine gun or a firearm equipped with any device or attachment designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm or aggravated discharge of a machine gun or a firearm equipped with any device or attachment designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm, committed on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1999, that a prisoner serving a sentence for any of these offenses shall receive no more than 4.5 days of good conduct credit for each month of his or her sentence of imprisonment.

(2.5) The rules and regulations on early release shall provide that a prisoner who is serving a sentence for aggravated arson committed on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly shall receive no more than 4.5 days of good conduct credit for each month of his or her sentence of imprisonment.
720 ILCS 5/12 4.1 Heinous Battery.

A person who, in committing a battery, knowingly causes severe and permanent disability, great bodily harm or disfigurement by means of a caustic or flammable substance, a poisonous gas, a deadly biological or chemical contaminant or agent, a radioactive substance, or a bomb or explosive compound commits heinous battery.
What is "Aggravated Battery?" Here's a possibly relevant snippet:
A person who, in committing a battery, intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement commits aggravated battery.... (If the person) is, or the person battered is, on or about a public way, public property or public place of accommodation or amusement.
.
Posted at 09:00:53 PM in COLUMNS


(First off, thanks to Chicago’s John Ellis, for packaging and sending me the first article. Note that:

1. In some American jurisdictions, attempted murder can get you a max of 30 years inside, more than murder 2, which typically runs 25-to-life. That may make no sense, but it is what is.

2. This was a case of robbery, assault, and attempted murder against Jennifer Hall, and assault against Joe Hoffman. Thus, each of the middle-aged assailants should have been sentenced to at least 20 years in prison.

3. Note that the weapon in these attempted murders was a sneaker. During the Jena Hoax, black supremacist race hoaxer and extortionist Al Sharpton held up a sneaker to a crowd of black supremacists, mocking the idea that it could be a murder weapon. In the Jena case, racist black persistent felony offender and previous four-time loser Mychal Bell had sucker punched from behind, and knocked out white classmate Justin Barker, when Barker’s head slammed into a concrete pillar, and then sought to stomp the unconscious Barker to death with his sneaker-clad foot. Barker survived, no thanks to Bell, but stomping whites to death is one of racist blacks’ favorite ways of murdering whites.

4. Never completely turn your back on a panhandler, especially a black panhandler, or any person bothering you on the street, until you are a safe distance away. Either back away, or walk on an angle, at first, watching the character or characters out of the side of your eye. Anyone who might suggest that such a posture suggests fear, has things bassackwards. In New York City for well over 30 years, whites have been avoiding looking at racist blacks out of fear. This fear is so bad that that it has been codified into a “rule”: “Never look anyone in the eye.” In public, this rule is always stated in color-blind language, but in private, people say—or at least they did during the 1970s, when I heard it at college in the Catskills from a neighbor from Brooklyn—“Never look a black in the eye.” But not looking a black in the eye can get you killed. Racist blacks (and to a lesser degree, Hispanics) routinely stare at whites, to see if they’ll look away, as a prelude to sucker punching them. And that sucker punch, if successful, will almost always win the confrontation for the racist thug. I should know; I’ve been sucker punched a few times in my life, by racist blacks and Hispanics, and I’ve ducked many an attempted sucker punch.)

3 comments:

NiviusVir said...

I am truly sick to my stomach after reading of the injustice of the King case.

I was familiar with the case, but I was not aware of subsequent injustice.

Thanks for the post,
Niv

Anonymous said...

The problem was that the prosecutors allowed King to be convicted of robbery. They cut him a deal! Instead of going to trial with this solid case, the prosecutors allowed him to plead to a far lesser, non-violent crime. Had King been charged of a violent crime King never would have been eligible for MGT Push. Please place blame where blame is due.

And now we have Justin Boulay who murdered his girlfriend, confessed to the crime, and was convicted of 1st degree murder. And yet he was just released after spending only 12 years in prison. Why? Because the law he was sentenced under was later declared unconstitutional and all of the sentences applied under that law were revised. Instead of revising them in a way that preserved the original intent the convicts were simply given day-for-day good time. So Boulay, who should have done 100% of his 24-year sentence in prison, was allowed to do only 50%. This is just as much of a travesty as the grossly inadequate conviction and sentencing of Derrick King.

Nicholas Stix said...

Sure thing, Niv.