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Attorney in Granat Case: Dismiss Murder Charges Against 1 Teen

Arguing that the accusations are unconstitutional, attorney Joel Brodsky filed a motion Thursday to dismiss murder charges against his client—one of four defendants whom police say were part of a plan to murder a Palos Township couple.

The attorney for one of four teens accused of beating a Palos Township couple to death says it's unconstitutional to charge his client with a crime that comes with a mandatory life in prison sentence.

Joel Brodsky filed a motion on Thursday to dismiss the murder charges against 17-year-old Mohammad Salahat. Salahat by prosecutors as the driver who remained in a car Sept. 11, 2011, outside the home of John and Maria Granat while Christopher Wyma, 17; Ehab Qasem, 19; and their son John Granat, 18; beat and stabbed the two to death in their bedroom.

Brodsky has said previously that However, prosecutors argue that Salahat was fully aware of what was happening inside the home.

All four defendants appeared in court on Thursday—three dressed in yellow Department of Corrections jumpsuits and the fourth, a khaki jumpsuit. Standing in a semi-circle facing Judge Neil Linehan, they remained quiet as their attorneys took turns addressing the judge.

Brodsky announced his motion to dismiss at the hearing. Salahat was 16 years old at the time he was alleged to have participated in the murder, Brodsky said, and a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Miller v. Alabama) states that juveniles cannot be sentenced to life in prison.

"But under Illinois law," Brodsky elaborated after the hearing, "the only option for someone who participated in a double murder, regardless of age, is life without parole. Such a sentence is unconstitutional. And you can't charge [someone with] a crime where there's no sentence [option]."

Brodsky argued that Illinois has no law specifically allowing for the sentencing of juveniles in multiple murder cases.

"Illinois has some real problems with the sentencing statute as it stands today regarding juveniles," he said, noting current state laws do not take facts delineated by the Miller case into account. "There's a real hole in Illinois law when it comes to sentencing juveniles in homicide cases."

Cook County State's Attorney's office representatives did not immediately respond Thursday to a request seeking comment.

All four defendants are scheduled to be back in court on Sept. 18.

Read Past Coverage of the Granat Murders:

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Should Salahat, the alleged driver, be held to the same standard of the three who police say entered the home and committed the murder? Tell us in the comments.

U.N. Owen December 04, 2012 at 03:54 AM
No decent human would ever even think about doing something so horrible to the people who brought you into this world, I would feel the same about these monsters if they were white, mexican, black, yellow, blue, red, or whatever!!! Evil has no color...
NYC December 19, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Too expensive to have them rot in our prisons for life...execute them! My tax dollars need to be spent on educating children and keeping people safe, not housing filthy animals!!!
Mom December 21, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Hey Alexandria....so much for Granat's family still "supporting him" huh? EVERYONE KNOWS and REALIZES what animals they are except YOU! Get a clue.... "Salahat stood silently during the hearing as at least two dozen of his family members sat in the galley awaiting the judge's decision. Clearly disappointed at the denial of the motion, Salahat did not look toward his family as he was led back into lock-up. Meanwhile, one of John Granat's aunts was visibly relieved after the proceedings. She cried and clutched one of the prosecutors in a long embrace outside the courtroom."
lee December 25, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Regardless if Arabs milk the system for free link or insurance, it is irrelevant to the,real reason comments are being posted...about a,horrible murder case!! People have so much hatred in them they let it get the best of them and go.off topic,and start with racist comments. In the end, there is good and bad in every race and religion, PERIOD!,end of discussion! Everyone everywhere does the same crap, get over it. The purpose of this is to comment about the murder case, not what Arabs are doing with their link card. On another note, I think regardless the chikd is guilty...wether he knew about the plan before the deed or after, he eventually knew then later still hung out with the kids and spent the money on games and fancy dinners...makes him guilty. Was this horrible act worth the $30,000 taken and their freedom taken away? NO!!!! It is appalling and sick and I hope they all pay for their crimes against the poor mother and father who busted their ass to.support and spoil a undeserving child.
Nick Swedberg February 15, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Hello—A comment was removed because it contained profanity. Please keep your commenting clean.

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