Overnight, 2 people in Chicago were killed in seperate hit-and-run incidents. What I think I can tell from muddling through a bunch of law speak is that these are considered either acts of criminal negligence or reckless homicide. Although these incidents both resulted in a loss of life by the hand of another person, I am chosing to exclude them from the project because it appears that they were not intentional.
Here is a breakdown of the Illinois State Laws regardinig homicide:
What is First Degree Murder?
Under Illinois Law (720 ILCS 5/9-1), a person commits the Felony crime of First Degree Murder when:
(a) they kill an individual without lawful justification if, in performing the acts which cause the death:
(1) they either intend to kill or do great bodily harm to that individual or another, or know that such acts will cause death to that individual or another; or
(2) they know that such acts create a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to that individual or another; or
(3) they are committing, or attempting to commit, a forcible felony other than second degree murder.
In Illinois, First Degree Murder is punishable from a minimum of 20 years in prison to a maximum of life, including the possibility of a death sentence, if aggravating factors are present as provided for in 720 ILCS 5/9-1(b)1 through (b)21. The entire prison sentence for First Degree Murder must be served. There is no “good time” or any time reduced from the actual prison sentence. In addition, certain factors may add to any sentence or be considered an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.
What is Second Degree Murder?
Under Illinois Law, (720 ILCS 5/9-2), a person commits the Felony crime of Second Degree Murder when:
(a) they commit the offense of First Degree Murder as defined in paragraphs (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of Section 9-1 (see above) of this Code and either of the following mitigating factors are present:
(1) At the time of the killing they are acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by the individual killed or another whom the offender endeavors to kill, but he negligently or accidentally causes the death of the innocent individual; or
(2) At the time of the killing the believe the circumstances to be such that, if they existed, would justify or exonerate the killing under the principles stated in Article 7 of this Code, but their belief is unreasonable. Basically, Article 7 provides that a person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.
Unlike First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder is a Class 1 Felony that that carries from 4 to 20 years in prison. However, as an alternative to jail, probation is available for up to four years.
What is Involuntary Manslaughter?
Under Illinois Law, 720 ILCS 5/9-3(a), a person commits the Illinois Felony Crime of Involuntary Manslaughter when they unintentionally kill an individual without lawful justification if their acts, whether lawful or unlawful, which caused the death, are such as are likely to cause death or great bodily harm to some individual, and they perform them recklessly.
Under Illinois sentencing laws, Involuntary Manslaughter is a Class 3 Felony but can be raised to a Class 2 Felony if aggravating factors exist as provided for in 720 ILCS 5/9(e)2 through (e)(9) and (f). Probation is usually available for a Class 3 Felony, however, if aggravating circumstances are present, a mandatory jail sentence may be required.
What is Reckless Homicide?
Under Illinois Law, 720 ILCS 5/9-3(a), a person commits the Illinois Felony crime of Reckless Homicide if by their reckless acts they kill an individual and the cause of death consists of the driving of a motor vehicle or operating a snowmobile, all terrain vehicle, or watercraft. Further, a person commits the Illinois crime of Reckless Homicide if they unintentionally kill an individual while driving a vehicle and use an incline in a roadway, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne.
Under Illinois sentencing laws, Reckless Homicide is a Class 3 Felony but can be raised to a Class 2 Felony if aggravating factors exist as provided for in 720 ILCS 5/9(e)2 through (e)(9) and (f). Under Illinois sentencing laws, a Class 3 Felony is punishable between 2 to 5 years in prison. Under Illinois sentencing laws, a Class 2 Felony is punishable between 3 to 7 years in prison. Probation is usually available for Class 3 and a Class 2 Felony. However, if aggravating circumstances are present, a mandatory jail sentence may be required.