Illinois Supreme Court Reinstates Nightclub Stampede Case

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday in the case of a Chicago nightclub stampede that killed 21 people. The decision reinstates the conviction of two of the club’s owners.

The owners of the E2 nightclub were acquitted of manslaughter charges. But they got two-year prison sentences for ignoring a city order that they stay off the second floor of their club. That’s where security used pepper spray to break up a fight, resulting in the deadly stampede.

A lower court had tossed the men’s convictions, finding that the orders saying the building was unsafe were not clear. But the Supreme Court rejected that, finding enough evidence that the owners knew they shouldn’t have been using the second floor of their club.

A lawyer for one of the men says it’s not the end of the case. Christopher Carmichael says he’s disappointed the Supreme Court ruled against his client. But …

CARMICHAEL: “We’re obviously happy that the Supreme Court left it open for the Appellate Court to look at the other issues, and hopefully rule in our favor.”

Carmichael says both men have been out of prison while their case is being appealed. The E2 stampede happened 10 years ago in February.

— Brian Mackey

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