Illinois has a crime problem, especially in Chicago. Unfortunately for the good people in the Land of Lincoln, criminals have no fear of the criminal justice system. Bad guys know Illinois practices “catch and release.” While this might work for fishing, when it comes to controlling crime, it fails miserably. Meet Lavontay Chavis . . .
Twenty-year-old Lavontay Chavis makes a good poster boy for Illinois’ broken justice system. In a little over two years, since turning 18, Mr. Chavis has racked up 13 arrests and spent 18-months in prison for a felony gun charge.
In May, police say he and a 17-year-old accomplice committed a string of armed robberies and then carjacked a ride at gunpoint before leading police on a high-speed chase.
Here’s a gallery of some of Mr. Chavis’ mug shots.
How come Lavontay Chavis remained on the streets of Chicago victimizing innocent people after so many repeated arrests? Because of soft-on-crime Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx.
Chicago’s “Social Justice” prosecutor Foxx (above from her profile in Elle magazine) gave another hoodlum, Jwan Farley, two years’ probation for a pair of armed robberies. Other armed robbers like DeAngelo Dixon and Leandrew Wallace also negotiated sweetheart probation plea deals from Kim Foxx’s office.
Meanwhile she sentenced a guy who stole 41 jars of Oil of Olay to 27 months in prison. Priorities, you know.
Carjackers also benefit from Kim Foxx’s largesse. Nineteen-year-old Jimmell Cannon of Lawndale like to “bump” into unsuspecting drivers. When the victims step out to inspect the damage, he hijacks their vehicles. Police caught him for a May 27th incident.
In any sane world, Cannon would have been in jail from a nearly identical February incident where police caught him in a similarly ‘jacked VW Passat.
Did Kim Foxx’s office throw the book at this offender on the earlier case? Hardly. Kim Foxx dropped all charges days before cops caught Cannon on his latest gig.
Jimmell Cannon now sits in jail, but he’s no stranger to incarceration. At the tender age of 13, he pointed a BB gun at cops. Cops promptly shot him eight times. His family described little Jimmell as just an “innocent child just having fun in the park.”
It’s not just the big fish Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx lets get away. She has instructed her office not to even prosecute suspended or revoked drivers unless they’ve had four or more convictions.
In another case, she dropped charges against a serial felon for possession of a stolen firearm because the suspect claimed the gun did not belong to him.
Kim Foxx’s office said the convicted felon’s word denying possession of the firearm “should be honored”.
Cook County prosecutors don’t deserve all the blame for the orgy of violence gripping Chicagoland. All over Illinois, violent criminals spend only months in prison instead of years. These convicts prowl the streets victimizing others.
Just like 21-year-old, five-time convicted felon Jamal Dumas. In 2013, he caught a conviction for robbery, earning him a five-year prison sentence for a felon possessing a firearm. Of course, in Illinois prison sentences are like dog-years in reverse and he got out in less than a year.
Almost immediately, in 2014, Jamal also earned himself another five-year sentence for possessing a firearm with defaced serial number. Released before the end of the year, he caught another gun charge and another five-year sentence for felon in possession of a firearm.
Out just weeks ago, cops caught him by chance after he (allegedly) robbed a 28-year-old female at gunpoint.
In another case on the trendy Gold Coast, police say 21-year-old Deandre Williams shared some Chicago “culture” with a 48-year-old female tourist and her son. He savagely beat the woman and then literally cracked the skull of the woman’s son before running off with in her purse and the $4,100 in US currency inside.
Williams was sentenced to six years in prison in 2012. Once again, nobody serves anything close to their whole sentence in Illinois.
Meanwhile, Chicagoland politicians blame so-called “gun violence” for the Wild West crime gripping their cities. Politician hacks constantly advocate for gun control upon the law-abiding yet at the same time they oppose sentence enhancements for armed, violent evil-doers.
Florida adopted a different approach for “gun violence” in 1999 with their 10-20-Life law. Under the law, criminals possessing a firearm in the commission of a violent crime earned ten extra years in prison. No parole, no probation, no plea bargains.
If they fired the gun, they caught twenty extra years. If their shot wounded someone, they went to prison for an extra 25 to life, automatically.
In less than two years, Florida’s firearm violent crime plummeted 26.4% to the lowest levels in 28 years. By 2013, the Sunshine state’s gun crime had dropped to historic lows.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner just signed Senate Bill 1722. Proponents of the law touted the non-binding sentencing enhancements that
would might increase sentences for criminals using guns in crimes.
With the governor’s signature, prosecutors may now enter into pre-trial “diversion” programs for first-time firearm offenders. The program, lasting 18 – 24 months, would require participants to go to school or look for a job, not use drugs or possess any weapons and wear an ankle bracelet. After “successful completion” prosecutors drop all charges.
So while the State of Florida dramatically lowered firearms crime by taking offenders out of circulation for years with hard time, Illinois lets first-time gun offenders back on our streets.
The lesson is clear: Chicago’s “revolving door” justice system enables indeed perpetuates firearms-related crime. Ending “gun violence” requires nothing less than a complete reform of the system.
Putting violent offenders with guns in prison for extended terms will cost money and alienate some Democrat constituents. But until that happens, Chicago street will continue to run red with blood, from criminals and their innocent victims.