Two weeks before police say Derren Sorrells and his brother murdered basketball star Dwyane Wade's cousin in Chicago on Friday, he walked out of a state prison after serving less than four years of a six-year sentence for possessing a stolen car.
A visibly angry Eddie Johnson, the city's police superintendent, said the case underscored the need to keep violent criminals behind bars longer.
"This reprehensible act of violence is an example of why we need to change the way we treat habitual offenders in the city of Chicago," Johnson said on Sunday.
On Monday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel weighed in, saying, "We keep coming upon the same facts: repeat gun offenders who continually run in and out of the criminal justice system with no consequences, who are back on the streets wreaking havoc," according to the Chicago Tribune.
Violence-plagued Chicago is not alone facing the problem of recidivism - the tendency for criminals to continue breaking the law even after being punished.
Across the United States, more than two-thirds of defendants released from state prisons were rearrested within five years, with the majority arrested within a year of release, according to a 2014 survey released by the U.S. Department of Justice.
At least 95 percent of all state prisoners will be released at some point.
Some criminal justice experts caution that limiting early release programs or imposing harsher sentences could backfire by increasing costs, straining overcrowded prisons and eliminating incentives for prisoners to behave well while incarcerated.
"It's easy after the fact to say: 'If I were king of the forest, I would never have let these two guys out,'" said Jeffrey Butts, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York who studies the effectiveness of criminal justice programs.