America is the land of opportunity and second chances.
Joseph A. Hauschild, a 29-year-old former Elmhurst man, cites his 4.0 grade-point average in obtaining his paralegal degree and good prison behavior record as evidence he can contribute to society.
He also wants a second chance -- even though he was convicted and sentenced to 67 years in prison for the 2001 St. Charles home invasion and attempted murder of Tom Wright, an executive at Delnor Hospital in Geneva.
Hauschild, who was 17 at the time of the attack, recently filed papers in Kane County court arguing to be resentenced.
Hauschild, who is being held at the Statesville Correctional Center and is scheduled for parole in August 2059, argues he received a de facto life sentence.
This, he argues, violates his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment and flies in the face of a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that mandatory life sentences or life without the chance for parole are unconstitutional for juveniles.
"Because he was a juvenile at the time of the offense, the sentencing hearing in his case was unconstitutional because the judge was not required to specifically consider critical mitigating factors such as immaturity, upbringing, or potential for rehabilitation before imposing sentence," wrote Hauschild, who is acting as his own attorney.
"At sentencing, the judge did not take into consideration that (Hauschild) could be rehabilitated and become a productive member of society," he continued.
Hauschild and a 15-year-old from St. Charles, broke into the Wrights' home on Falcon Trail Aug. 14, 2001, just a day after learning that the Wrights' son committed suicide.
The deceased son had said his parents kept $7,000 in a safe and that's what Hauschild and Ethan Warden are after. Clad in ski masks and gloves, the two forced Wright to open a safe, but Hauschild ended up shooting Wright in the arm, leg, chest and stomach, before fleeing in a stolen car.
Warden cut a deal with prosecutors to testify against Hauschild, who was on probation for juvenile offenses of burglary, stolen car possession and marijuana charges when Wright was attacked.
Warden was sentenced to 12 years in prison and was released in October 2011, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Hauschild faced between 38 and 113 years in prison after a jury convicted him.
"When you're on the other end of a gun, it doesn't matter if the person holding the trigger is 16 or 60. The effects are the same," Judge Donald Hudson said at Hauschild's May 2003 sentencing.
Hauschild's motion is in the process of being assigned to a judge.