Two men will receive new sentencing hearings because of a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling that leaves it up to the judge's discretion on whether a life sentence is warranted for defendants who committed multiple murders as juveniles.
Matthew Quigley, 28, of Aurora, was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for murders he committed in October 2002 and November 2002.
Michael Luciano, 41, of Mesa, Ariz., received a life sentence in 2009 for murders in June 1989 and October 1990 in Aurora.
Back then, a life sentence for two or more murders was mandatory. Now, a judge is not legally required to impose a life term, but may still do so, the court ruled.
The supreme court ruling does not mean Quigley and Luciano, who were both prosecuted as adults, will go free.
Their convictions still stand and only the lengths of their sentences are in question.
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon expects the sentencing hearings to be held in a couple of months.
McMahon expects both his staff members and the defense attorneys for Quigley and Luciano to prepare a full set of aggravating factors, such as a defendant's criminal past, and mitigating factors, such as a defendant's upbringing or self improvement steps taken since incarceration.
When a life term is mandated under law and a judge doesn't have a choice in the sentence, arguments from each side tend to be more about trial procedure.
"The defense and this office will want to prepare for a full-blown sentencing hearing," McMahon said. "Now, there's going to be a full aggravation and mitigation hearing both sides will want to put on."
Quigley was convicted of the Oct. 16, 2002, shooting death of David Morales of Aurora, and of the Nov. 17, 2002, shooting death of Erbel Valdez, also of Aurora, who was a rival gang member.
Luciano was prosecuted under the "Operation First Degree Burn" investigation into Aurora cold cases. He was sentenced to life in prison after convictions in a June 1989 shooting death of Willie Arce of Aurora, and the Oct. 31, 1990 gang murder of Albert Gonzalez.