Chicago's top law enforcement officer says an Illinois Senate proposal to increase prison sentences for repeat gun offenders would help stanch the city's rampant gun violence. The proposal would direct courts to toughen penalties for repeat gun offenders within existing sentencing limits of current law. Judges could still hand out lighter sentences. But they'd be required to explain the factors behind their decisions.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Criminal Law Committee that the legislation would create a culture of accountability. Johnson says the plan will lock up violent offenders and discourage potential criminals from picking up illegal weapons. Chicago recorded 767 homicides last year.
The measure also includes reforms aimed at reducing prison populations. Many are from Gov. Bruce Rauner's criminal justice reform commission.