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People v. Sessions

MARCH 19, 1971.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

JOHN W. SESSIONS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. HARRY H. PORTER, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was found guilty, after a jury trial, of the offense of battery. (Ill. Rev. Stat., 1963, ch. 38, par. 12-3.) Judgment was entered and he was sentenced to six months in the Cook County Jail and fined $500. On appeal the conviction was affirmed but the case was remanded with directions for the trial court to hold a hearing on probation and, if the facts warranted a denial of probation, the trial court was ordered to hold a hearing in aggravation and mitigation. See People v. Sessions, 95 Ill. App.2d 17.

On remand the trial court denied probation, held a hearing in aggravation and mitigation and sentenced the defendant to serve thirty days in Cook County Jail and fined him $500.

On this appeal defendant contends that the sentence is excessive.

The facts relating to defendant's arrest and conviction for battery are not disputed and are adequately set forth in People v. Sessions, 95 Ill. App.2d 17.

The hearing on probation and aggravation and mitigation was held on September 18, 1968. Defendant testified that at the time of his arrest for battery he was already on probation for another offense. The commission of the battery violated his earlier probation which was revoked. Defendant was fined $200 for the earlier offense. Defendant also testified that he worked for a construction company and a record store and that his marriage was in the process of being annulled. He had been in no trouble since his arrest and conviction for battery.

In its decision, entered on October 15, 1968, the trial court stated:

"I have given this thing a lot of thought, gentlemen, and I think that some concession should be made to this lad here.

The probation motion is denied. I will let the fine stand, and cut the time to thirty days."

Opinion

• 1, 2 Defendant contends that his sentence is excessive and should be reduced to probation, or alternatively to that of a fine only. One convicted of a crime has neither an inherent nor a statutory right to probation. (People v. Smith, 111 Ill. App.2d 283, and People v. Jones, 107 Ill. App.2d 1.) The nature of the offense, the attending circumstances, the propensities of the offender, and the chances of his reform must be considered. People v. Wallace, 117 Ill. App.2d 426, and People v. Hobbs, 56 Ill. App.2d 93.

In People v. Miller, 33 Ill.2d 439, 444, the court set forth the test for determining whether a sentence is excessive:

"Where it is contended that the sentence imposed in a particular case is excessive, though within the limits prescribed by the legislature, we will not disturb the sentence unless it clearly appears that the penalty constitutes a substantial departure from the fundamental law and its spirit and purpose, or that it ...


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