Justice Anne Burke Calls for Changing How Courts Punish Kids With Guns by Mark Konkol
To read this article on the DNA Info Chicago website, click here.
The story of Rodnell Dennis — an all-too-real tale of how a Chicago kid became a teenage killer — got an influential Illinois judge thinking about how juvenile courts can fail kids who get caught carrying guns.
Rodnell grew up in Cabrini-Green and joined the Gangster Disciples in grade school. He got his first gun at 11. And, at age 13, he murdered an innocent 9-year-old boy while shooting at gang rivals.
While out on parole this summer, Rodnell told DNAinfo Chicago that one of the things that emboldened him to become a young shooter was the lack of punishment he faced every time he got arrested as a kid.
“Rodnell’s story is quite tragic and factually correct. He proves the fact that at the first time a juvenile gets caught with a gun something needs to be done to provide services and intervention,” Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke said.