A Chicago man was sentenced to 150 years in prison Wednesday for fatally shooting an honor student in her Englewood home in 2006 while firing at two rivals outside.
Carail Weeks, 28, was convicted last month of the murder of Starkesia Reed and the attempted murder of two other men. Reed, 14, an honor student at Harper High School, was killed when Weeks fired an AK-47-style rifle at the men and missed. One of the bullets crashed through the window of Reed's family's home and struck her in the head as she peered outside.
Weeks maintains he is innocent of the teen's murder.
Would this be one of those cases that cries out for the Assault Weapons Ban? Isn't it possible to describe the AK-47 in such a way that it cannot be confused with other weapons, ones used for hunting for example? Is the failure to come up with a proper definition of an "assault weapon" the whole problem? Or is the problem that pro-gun folks don't want any bans on weapons and therefore won't accept any definition?
What do you think about the sentence? Is it a little harsh? After all the shooter did not intend to kill the girl, in fact he proclaims his innocence. I imagine the investigators ensured the bullet that struck the girl came from the gun in question and not from another wild shot in the neighborhood. But still, it was not intentional. Even if you start with a maximum sentence of death, which I do not, and work your way down, how can you justify a sentence of 150 years for attempted murder and an accidental death?
I admit, I'm soft on criminals and hard on lawful gun owners.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.