Has Anita Alvarez set Jason Van Dyke up for acquittal?
note: this was taken from an attorney’s blog, but I think it is a good discussion of the different types of murder charges available re #LaquanMcDonald
‘First Degree Murder vs. Second Degree Murder in Illinois
First degree murder is the most serious criminal charge and does not allow consideration of “good time” so if you are convicted you will serve every day of the mandatory minimum plus any additional years that are part of your sentence. The criminal offense of first degree murder is differentiated from second degree murder below.
First Degree Murder
1. The unjustified killing of another individual where the act that caused the victim’s death meets any of these standards:
a. The perpetrator has the actual intent to cause a death or cause great bodily harm or knows that the act will inflict such harm or death; or
b. The perpetrator knows his or her actions will result in a high probability of great bodily harm or death; or
c. The death occurs during the commission of a felony (other than second degree murder) (Felony Murder).
Second Degree Murder
While the penalties for second degree murder are not as severe as first degree murder, the offense still results in life-changing consequences. Second degree murder is a Class 1 Felony that carries exposure to a prison term of 4 to 20 years. However, probation is available for up to four years.
2. Second degree murder is defined under Illinois law as committing an act that would constitute first degree murder but is mitigated by any of the factors below:
a. The act was committed when the accused was in a state of sudden and intense passion caused by serious provocation from the victim or someone the accused attempts to kill when inadvertently killing an innocent bystander; or
b. When attempting to act in self-defense to prevent imminent use of unlawful force likely to cause great bodily harm or death or a forcible felony, but the belief that the use of force was necessary is not objectively reasonable (sometimes referred to as “imperfect self-defense”).’
with just the information made available to the public. A conviction of Jason Van Dyke is more likely on a charge of 2nd degree murder. SA Anita Alvarez’s choice to charge him with 1st degree murder is an attempt to avoid conviction.
After the poor charging and forced acquittal of Dante Servin for the murder of #ReikaBoyd you can appreciate my suspicion of SA Anita Alvarez.