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Crime under Illinois Catch and Release Criminal Justice System

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.

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  1. I wonder if the fact they are in an economic sh*tter has a connection to their criminal cesspool??? Hmmmmm…

    Why are all sanctuary cities in the financial crapper?? Hmmmmm….

    • Poor economies don’t lead people to violence. People with poor impulse control and violent tendencies tend to self-select out of good paying jobs and education opportunities. Then having a criminal record makes you less hire able…

      Being poor doesn’t make you violent, but being violent can make you poor.

  2. This is neither new or a mystery.

    “From January 2006 through August 2013, thousands of cases involving a weapons violation were thrown out in Cook County’s criminal courts, The Chicago Reporter found. More than 13,000 cases that included a gun violation have been dismissed during that period, shows the Reporter’s analysis of records maintained by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. In fact, more felony cases involving a gun–from illegal possession to unlawful sale to a felon–have been thrown out than cases with any other type of charge.”

  3. “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”

    Promoting citizens’ ability to carry concealed weapons and avoid persecution for justified self defense would save money and kill some Democrat constituents. When that happens Chicago streets will run red with the blood of criminals, not their innocent victims.

  4. just FYI, Illinois ALSO has a 15-20-25 to life law (much harsher than the Florida law) and has had it on the books for over 2 decades. commit a crime while armed with a gun, 15 year automatically added to the underlying offense. shoot it, 20 year. and hit someone with the bullet, add on 25-life. so, as much as your overall analysis seems true, the law is already there, and when people DO get convicted of the right crime, they rarely see the light of day when a gun is involved in chicago.

    • If they get charged and convicted on that crime… part of the problem with the prosecutor’s office is that they are undercharging.

      …well, most people. They’ll overcharge the hell out of you if there’s political hay to be made.

      • To prosecute those cases will cost the DA’s office (tax payers) millions per case. If you can get a “gun crime” conviction (plea deal) for a few thousand bucks, then why waste the time and money?/sarc… A conviction is a conviction when it comes to stats. Quantity over quality is their goal.

  5. It’s the new meme, generally blamed on prison overcrowding. That has been the case in California, were there were at one point 35,000 more prisoners than there were beds. A federal court ordered the state to fix the problem (and at the same time improve the provision of medical services, which had fallen to the level of a third world country). So now we have “prison realignment,” whereby felons are shipped from prisons to county jails to serve out a sentence of no more that 2 years. the realignment is supposed to be for nonviolent offenders, but as the problem with overcrowding is unsolved, the category of those who are nonviolent has gradually expanded to include persons who are convicted of what anyone else would call a violent crime. And to make matters worse, the state did not increase funding to the counties to deal with this new influx of prisoners (and soon to be parolees), resulting in a virtual catch and release for most crimes less than child abuse or murder.

    • We can fix prison population issues easily. Expand summary execution to cover any form of organized crime. As organized crime can be termed as an insurgency and insurgents aren’t entitled to protections under the laws and customs of war, it would even be perfectly constitutional.

      • I could never imagine how that might be turned and used against POTG. I mean after all, it’s not like the purpose of the second amendment, the legal under pinning to us owning firearms, is to support an insurgency, you know, armed resistance to a government or anything like that.

  6. Well, look, when you’re fishing you throw back the little ones and go for the big fish, right? Well, if you consider Chicago a lake and the fish as crimes, some carjacker is a tiny fish next to all the murderers. You gotta send that little guy back in to grow big and strong! Wait, that’s what we’re trying to do, right?

    “Kim Foxx’s office said the convicted felon’s word denying possession of the firearm “should be honored”.”

    Alright, let’s take a step back on this one.This was a case of constructive possession where the cops in question charged the front seat driver of a vehicle based on the fact that a gun was found in the glove compartment and the driver said he had no clue how it got there. How many of you check a glove compartment for contraband when you get in a vehicle? If all you got is that he was seated there- no confession, no fingers pointed by all the other occupants, no forensics- your case sucks and probably should be tossed because you don’t have enough for conviction.

    Then the officer writes it up in a snide little in-house report because he’s pissed that his weak charge got dropped and it gets leaked. Sometimes they get away, that’s just how it happens. It’s a far cry from deciding to go weak on criminals as a whole when you DO have evidence sufficient for conviction.

  7. No, no, no. You have it all wrong. This system in Chicago is fantastic … for the politicians and their stooges. All this rampant crime has the locals voting for the politicians who pledge to fix it! And the politicians who promptly release criminals get their votes as well.

    So the local government dutifully appears to go after the criminals, and then quietly releases them soon/immediately. In other words we are witnessing law enforcement / criminal justice theater in Chicago.

    Of course this increases crime significantly which has another benefit for local politicians: they can use it to justify civilian disarmament.

  8. Wellllll…Kim Foxx practically boasted about growing up in Cabrini Green. I suspect some of those savage chillen’ might be relatives!?I expect Chiraq to get worse. Travel to the City at your peril…

  9. The only way to be surprised or shocked at what goes on in Chicago is to literally know NOTHING about the political environment there.

    Chicago has the most corrupt police department in North America. Google the name “Joseph Miedzianowski”.

    Chicago has the most corrupt city “government” in North America. Chicago aldermen are firmly in bed with the gangs, using them in the political campaigns.

    The police are involved in the drug trade now just as they were involved in the bootlegging trade.

    EVERYBODY knows what the issue is. It’s the gangs. The corrupt politicians and cops are no more going to go after the gangs than Iran is going to go after Hezbollah.

  10. Liberal-progressive-democrat policies will destroy the US.
    It’s probably D.O.A. already but no one realizes it yet.

  11. Every time she lets a person go free, Kim gets another ‘x’ after her name.


  12. I live in Chicago. I clerked for the State’s Attorney when I was in university. Believe me, none of the rank-and-file prosecutors wanted Kim Foxx. They hate her. Some of the old timers look fondly back on the days when they carried badges and guns and rode alongside the police on raids. According to their lore, the end of that era was with the police killing of the Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, which the Cook County State’s Attorney planned.

    The issue are not the rank-and-file prosecutors, which you can imagine are a self-selection of people who lean toward “law and order” outlooks on criminal justice.

    One problem is politicians unwilling to implement tough sentences.

    But really to get at the core of it, the problem is these pockets of social malaise, despair, and abject poverty. The kids grow up and live in the most terrible circumstances. The kids in those communities who are causing all the problems, they usually grew up without a father (almost no fathers ever showed up to court), their mother is often on drugs or a prostitute, they never had any food at their house, or if they did it might be stuff from the nearby ghetto convenience store like chips and soda. Sometimes the only food they get is from their school breakfast and lunch programs. Nobody is around that really cares about them like a parent needs to, their parent is probably incapable of doing so even if she wanted to. Even in a relatively good situation the parent is working a couple low paying service jobs so she makes a little money and isn’t a crack whore but then on the other hand she still isn’t around the kids enough.

    Everyone is talking about “education” as a means of stopping this cycle of poverty, but there is a reason that they can throw unlimited money at education with little effect: these kids can’t even handle being educated because they never received a real primary socialization. They have no idea how to be educated, they never had any example to learn from. And I don’t believe that that’s something government or schools can really do, that’s something only parents can do. I think that the key to ending this cycle of poverty and despair, which creates the violence, is to stop the cycle of completely incapable parents having kids.

    I guess I disagree somewhat with the original article in that I think by the time you’re jailing people it’s already too late. Murderers aren’t created when a 20 year old commits an armed robbery gone wrong. Murderers are created when 3 year olds are completely neglected and never socialized on how to act in civilized society.

    • I agree with your analysis. The schools get them too late and have them for too little time to straighten them out. Not all kids from these neighborhoods are hopeless. But they have the double burden of growing up themselves and not letting the rest drag them down. Rather than waste resources on the losers, it would be better to focus on the ones trying to succeed, encouraging, rewarding and, above all, protecting them.

      • I have a theory that packing people tightly in urban areas compounds social problems. Not only are these people borderline wild animals since they were never properly socialized by parents, but our US government policy also encourages cramming them into tight urban areas where they are slammed up against lots of other wild animals. Throughout most of history, and still to this day in Europe and Asia, it’s the wealthier people that live in the city centers, convenient distances from all the centers of commerce, culture, and government. It is poorer people that lived farther away in less dense areas.

        I think we could alleviate the situation a lot just by passing federal laws preventing all the public housing and subsidized housing from being built in concentrated areas. People receiving government housing assistance should have to be spread out proportional to the overall population and not only to urban areas, but also suburban, exurban, and rural areas. Ideally, each person receiving the assistance would have a permanent record, and based on their behavior (not committing crime, achieving high parenting standards, progressing off of welfare by holding jobs, etc.), they would be permitted to get housing in progressively more dense areas. Like the best poor people in Illinois could live in downtown Chicago, and the worst poor people in Illinois would have to live out in very rural areas where there simply aren’t other people around for their antisocial behavior to damage. Also, by diluting them amongst the population, maybe they would learn a thing or two about being civilized from the osmosis of observing functioning people and functioning families. In their ghettos the only examples they have are of dysfunction and antisocial behavior.

        • “I have a theory that packing people tightly in urban areas compounds social problems.”

          I think that’s been solidly proven for a long time. We humans are social animals, but God did not intend for us to be stacked on top of one another like cordwood.

          But don’t send us your “public housing.” The big cities in this country run by Democrats have created their own problems. I’ll be damned if I’ll let you export those problems out to rural areas.

  13. She’s a black female democrat. Odds are she thinks the system is weighted against black criminals and they just need more breaks in life and they shouldn’t be punished for their crimes.

    People in Chicago vote for this trash. They deserve what they get.

  14. It’s Crooks’ County…government by the criminals, for the criminals…everybody else should just move out while they can.

  15. I like to think of myself as a peaceable person.

    But articles like this start me thinking that perhaps the “three strikes and you’re out” laws should be changed to “three strikes and you’re dead.”

    I know and respect how Robert and JWT feel about the death penalty. But at this point, if we can’t afford to keep these people in jail, and can’t tolerate them loose in society, well… What other options do we have?

    • Focusing on the cost of incarceration ignores the cost to society of letting criminals run loose. Years ago, I heard someone complain that it cost as much to keep an inmate in a penitentiary as it did to send a student to an Ivy League college. Shortly thereafter, I heard that a typical thief steals three times that amount annually. Being mathematically inclined, it occurred to me that we could send the thief to prison and use the savings to send two deserving students to college.

      • Or you can execute him and send not two, but three deserving students to college. As long as we consider only costs…

  16. “Chicago street will continue to run red with blood, from criminals and their innocent victims.”

    Let it bleed. Let it bleed to death.

    • “This city is afraid of me…I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “Save us!”… and I’ll look down and whisper “No.” They had a choice, all of them. They could have followed in the footsteps of good men like my father or President Truman. Decent men who believed in a day’s work for a day’s pay. Instead they followed the droppings of lechers and communists and didn’t realize that the trail led over a precipice until it was too late. Don’t tell me they didn’t have a choice. Now the whole world stands on the brink, staring down into bloody Hell, all those liberals and intellectuals and smooth-talkers… and all of a sudden nobody can think of anything to say.”

  17. Several months ago, the Chicago police superintendent identified 1,350 gang bangers who were responsible for most of the violence in Chicago. At $36k per year, putting them away until they were too old to be dangerous, say an average of 50 years, would cost about $2.5 billion. Illinois is too broke to afford that.

    If Kim Foxx really did grow up in Cabrini Green, she has first hand knowledge of what it’s like to live under the domination of criminal gangs. It’s disappointing, disheartening and disgusting that she has chosen to side width the predators rather than with their victims.

    One thing Trump could do, that wouldn’t require legislation or even an executive order, is to tell his attorney general to direct the US attorney for Chicago to prosecute gang bangers for violations of federal law. That has the disadvantage of sticking the rest of the country with the bill for fixing Chicago’s crime problem. And Chicago is only one of several cities with the same, self-inflicted problem.

    • “Several months ago, the Chicago police superintendent identified 1,350 gang bangers who were responsible for most of the violence in Chicago. At $36k per year, putting them away until they were too old to be dangerous, say an average of 50 years, would cost about $2.5 billion. Illinois is too broke to afford that.”

      Is Illinois too broke to buy about 2,000 rounds of 9mm?

    • “Illinois is too broke to afford that.”

      The city government, maybe. But not the city itself.
      Or, to put it another way, if the city is really too poor to fight crime, then crime is what the city will have to put up with. When the city is tired of putting up with that crime, it will have to find a way to afford to fight it.
      I guess it’s the addict’s curse; until the addict hits rock bottom, and admits that, there’s no real reason to kick the habit.
      Obviously Chicago (and other cities in the same position) haven’t hit rock bottom yet.

  18. One has to wonder if prosecutor Foxx is corrupt. Illinois has had many issues with corruption in the past. And this seems more than a little rotten.

  19. Illinois is a state that reinstates a felon’s voting rights automatically when released. So, release, and get them to the polls on time.

  20. “Almost immediately, in 2014, Jamal also earned himself another five-year sentence for possessing a firearm with defaced serial number.”

    While Chicago’s prosecutors have blame in these situations, the above is a federal felony. Where was the feds on this?

  21. Raise your hand if you live in Chicago or the collar burbs. Nobody? I do. Work downtown. Gorgeous place. No matter the methodology used to make the assessment, Chicago doesn’t crack top 10 of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. Don’t be puppets.

    • I do. I live and work downtown and in my younger years I clerked for the State’s Attorney.

      It’s not the most dangerous overall, but let’s not sugar coat it. There are those pockets on the South and West sides that are as dangerous as anywhere in the US. The reason that Chicago isn’t in the top 10 is that is has the wealthy areas. Many other cities are completely poor. But our poor areas are just as bad.

    • I used to live in Chicago and work there for five years. Now I live in western suburbs and work in the city about three months of every year. As Tom above me said there is more than one neighborhood in Chicago. The traffic sucks everywhere.

      When I worked in ghettos on south side in early 2000s it was scary and expensive experience. We had our tools stolen and houses we worked on broken in on daily bases. Windows stolen from walls the first night after they were installed, copper pipe cut right at water meter and ripped out from the whole building. Workers assaulted on job sites for their tools or just because they were wrong color.

      Chicago is beatiful city. Just not all of it.

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