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Court Clarifies Sentencing Rules in Cook County Appeal

The stiffer penalty applies when judges consider enhancements to the sentences they hand out in criminal convictions, according to First District Appellate Court judges, who reduced the jail time given a Cook County man for a 2011 shooting. While it did not reverse the consecutive sentences for attempted murder in the case against Alvis Holley, the three-member panel ruled last month that separate firearm enhancements could not be applied to the terms as they contained time added on because the targets were cops. Holley claimed at his 2015 trial that he fired the shots in self-defense when confronted by plainclothes officers following a drug deal on Chicago’s West Side. The jury rejected the defense and convicted the gang member of two counts of attempted murder, a Class X felony that carries a stiffer sentence when victims are cops. Circuit Judge Nicholas Ford added on a pair of 25-year terms for Holley’s use of a handgun. Holley argued that the enhanced sentences totaling 100 years were based on separate guidelines and thus excessive when applied cumulatively. Appellate judges cited state and federal precedent in lifting the firearms enhnacements but ruled that the bodily injury suffered by both officers merited the remaining jail terms be served consecutively.