A new University of Chicago Crime Lab study shows that it's four times more likely for people convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon sentenced to probation to be re-arrested for murder. Those offenders were also almost nine
times more likely to be arrested again for nonlethal shootings, the
The findings support Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s push for stiffer sentences for gun crimes and his backing of state legislation,
proposed by State Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Chicago), that would require
those convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and other felons convicted of using a firearm, to serve 85 percent of their sentences. The pending legislative also includes stricter sentences for those convicted of gun crimes.
The U of C study examined re-arrests for felons and a group of unlawful use of a weapon offenders over a two-year period after they were sentenced to probation from 2008 and 2011.
“This data makes clear that we have to treat illegal gun possession as the violent crime that it is," said police Supt. Garry McCarthy, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. "... No matter how you look at it, this bill will save lives. Every illegal gun on our street is a potential murder and the bill
pending in Springfield is narrowly tailored to stop violent criminals."
Illinois Department of Corrections officials are warning that the bill
could result in prison overcrowding, adding nearly 3,900 more inmates to
the system. It is estimated to cost $1 billion over 10 years to handle
the increased number of inmates.