After the sudden and surprising decision not to pursue any charges against actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly fabricating a hate crime, a deeper look at Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's record by WLS-TV revealed another example of controversial leniency.
What's the background? In 2009, a 16-year-old named Derrion Albert was killed when he got caught up in a gang fight on the way home from school.
Four teenagers were charged with the murder. Three of them were convicted and are still in prison. One of them, however, was only 14. His circumstance was a bit different.
Foxx, who at the time was the assistant state's attorney, opted to charge him as a juvenile in an Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction prosecution.
Under the EJJ prosecution, the 14-year-old, Dionte Johnson, would serve a shorter sentence in juvenile detention, and would only serve the full 30-year sentence for his role in the murder if he was convicted of another felony after being released.
Well, in 2015 Johnson was convicted of aggravated fleeing after being involved in a police chase. Although that should've triggered Johnson's 30-year sentence, newly elected State's Attorney Foxx told Derrion Albert's family that their son's killer was only getting probation.
How did the family react? "I felt like [Foxx] sat in our face, she cried with us, she hugged us and then you turn around and let this murderer, I don't care how old he is, he was convicted of first degree murder," said Albert's mother, Anjanette. "My son is not here anymore and she gave us all this hope and she promised us that this was going to be OK. And it didn't turn out like that."
"I don't have anything to say to Kim Foxx," Albert continued. "The person that I thought that she was, her heart, her kindness the way she was with us in court, that's, I don't never want to see her again. Never."
What does Foxx have to say about it? Foxx's office sent the following statement to WLS: "Based on the Class 4 Felony, which carries a sentencing range of probation or up to three years in prison, it was not in the interest of justice to pursue a 30 year prison sentence in this case."