Reuters reports that Micheail Ward, the 18-year-old male who is alleged to have shot 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton a little over a week after she performed at the presidential inauguration, has a criminal record:
Ward, who police say confessed to the shooting, had previously been arrested in 2011 on charges of unlawful use of a firearm and was sentenced to two years of probation.
[Chicago Police Superintendent] McCarthy said if mandatory minimum sentences for unlawful firearm use had existed in the state of Illinois, ‘Micheail Ward would not have been on the street to commit this heinous act.’
‘This has to stop. Gun offenders have to do significant jail time,’ McCarthy said. ‘And there has to be a certainty of punishment when we arrest somebody with an illegal firearm.’
The left tends to oppose mandatory minimum sentences as unduly harsh restrictions on judicial discretion. McCarthy and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, who have actually to police and govern a city reeling from violence, disagree. Clearly they haven’t received the memo from DeWayne Wickham that Hadiya Pendleton would be alive if only Micheail Ward had attended “better schools.”