We recently discussed Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s attempt to blame Indiana for her city’s violence while ignoring the problems in Chicago’s criminal justice system, and the website CWB Chicago has a perfect example of the light punishment handed down to armed criminals each and every day in Cook County courtrooms.
A Humboldt Park man was sentenced to one year in prison after he pleaded guilty to having a handgun near Montrose Beach in May. Several beachgoers called 911 on the evening of May 5th to report a man firing a pistol near the harbor.
Witnesses directed officers toward two men who were walking away from the beach, one of whom was 26-year-old Sarong Gonzalez. A handgun was recovered, police said.
Prosecutors allowed Gonzalez to plead guilty to a reduced charge of unlawful use of a weapon and dropped two counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon.
Gonzalez’s sentence will be reduced by 66 days for time spent in jail awaiting a resolution to his case. The state will also reduce his sentence by 50% for good behavior. His anticipated parole date is Nov. 1st.
Here we have a convicted felon illegally discharging his illegally possessed firearm in a city beset by violent crime, and prosecutors offer him a plea deal that will allow him to be back out on the streets before Thanksgiving. If Gonzalez had been found guilty in state court of being a felon in possession of a gun, he would have faced a mandatory two-year prison term. If the U.S. Attorney in Chicago had successfully prosecuted his case instead of Cook County prosecutors, Gonzalez would be looking at the possibility of ten years in prison. Instead, he won’t even do ten months. But yeah, somehow this must be Indiana’s fault, or maybe the “gun lobby” is to blame.
Sadly, I doubt we’ll hear anything from Mayor Lightfoot about this case. I’d love to be proven wrong, but she’s apparently more interested in calling for more federal gun control laws than addressing the lack of consequences in Chicago when criminals ignore existing state law. Or, to put it another way, Lightfoot’s priority seems to be turning legal gun owners into criminals, rather than taking violent criminals off the streets.