When Dane County Leniency Turns Lethal

Dan O’Donnell clarifies how a Dane County Circuit Court judge’s inexplicably lenient sentence established in motion the gatherings that led to the dying of Chicago Police officer Ella French


August 11, 2021

Standpoint by Dan O’Donnell

Ella French did not have to die.  That is neither misplaced anger nor wishful contemplating, it is the plain, tragic real truth: Ella French did not have to die.

The 29-yr-outdated Chicago Police officer and two other officers pulled in excess of a vehicle for expired license plates in the West Englewood community Saturday night.  Just after the driver, Eric Morgan, pulled to the side of the road, his brother Emonte opened fire on French and yet another officer, killing her and terribly injuring him.

This did not have to happen.

Emonte Morgan, the alleged gunman, was billed with felony theft and misdemeanor battery in 2019 right after he organized to order an Apple iphone but ran off with it as a substitute.  When the victim chased and confronted Morgan, Morgan punched him regularly till a number of bystanders have been equipped to subdue him.

In exchange for a responsible plea, prosecutors dropped the felony theft charge in opposition to Morgan, and he was sentenced to two years’ probation.  In May well, prosecutors moved to revoke that probation since of an unspecified violation, but on Saturday Morgan was nevertheless on the road and ready to shoot Ella French to loss of life.

She did not have to die, but she did—in part due to the fact the Cook dinner County justice method refused to implement the law and punish a probation violation.  Had it finished do, Emonte Morgan would not have been on the street on Saturday.

The gun he allegedly utilized to get rid of French belonged to his brother, who was not lawfully allowed to have it mainly because of a felony report for which he acquired a shockingly lenient sentence from a Dane County Circuit Court docket decide.

As very first noted by Heavy.com’s Jessica McBride, Eric Morgan was billed in 2018 with armed robbery and theft of movable property following he held up 4 persons with a handgun.  The two crimes are felonies, with armed theft carrying a optimum sentence of 40 several years in prison and theft carrying a utmost sentence of 10.

Morgan pleaded guilty, and even though he confronted up to 50 years powering bars, Dane County decide Ellen Berz sentenced to him to just 3 years’ probation.  Had she sentenced him to just two percent of the most jail time she could have, Eric Morgan would have been locked up instead of providing his brother with the gun that he applied to kill Ella French.

She didn’t have to die, but she did—in component for the reason that Decide Berz refused to impose a sentence that would have either retained Morgan off the avenue on Saturday or instilled in him plenty of fear of legal repercussions that he would not have straw purchased the handgun that his brother allegedly used in the murder.

Unfortunately, the coddling of criminals pair with stunningly bad therapy of crime victims have grow to be hallmarks of Berz’s shameful career on the bench.  Four several years ago, Madison’s foremost target rights advocates took the unprecedented step of publicly criticizing her managing of domestic and sexual assault victims.

“Our state constitution claims that victims of crime are to be taken care of with dignity and regard, and we would not be in this article right now if that were being the remedy that criminal offense victims had been having in Decide Berz’s courtroom,” Finish Domestic Abuse Wisconsin’s Tony Gibart instructed WISC-Tv. “This is not just one incident or two incidents. This is a pattern of incidents. There have been a number of opportunities to modify, to come to be improved educated about these concerns.”

In 2016, Berz sentenced a juvenile sexual assault target to jail mainly because she would not testify towards her attacker.  The guy was inevitably convicted, but his victim ended up serving extra time than he did.

So normally did Berz side with alleged domestic abusers over people looking for restraining orders against them that victims’ rights advocates have come to think that she cares small about those people hurt by the sociopaths who seem as defendants in her courtroom.

“It’s devastating in the information that it sends to the general public: Never trouble reporting,” reported a person advocate.  “Don’t hassle in search of justice due to the fact justice will not prevail.”  

It certainly didn’t on Saturday night, when several years of leniency towards hardened criminals exploded in a hail of gunfire on a road in Chicago.  Ella French did not have to die but, tragically, judges like Ellen Berz assisted be certain that she did.