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People v. Mcclinton

FEBRUARY 29, 1972.

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

v.

ERIE MCCLINTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. CHESTER J. STRZALKA, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE STAMOS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

After a bench trial defendant was found guilty of petit theft *fn1 and sentenced to a term of 90 days. He appeals and submits the following contentions: (1) that the record does not reflect a knowing and understanding waiver by defendant of his right to a jury trial; (2) that defendant was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (3) that the sentence of 90 days was excessive.

Opinion

• 1-3 In Illinois the trial court is charged with the duty to ensure that the election of a defendant to forego a trial by jury is expressly, knowingly and understandingly discharged. (People v. Surgeon, 15 Ill.2d 236, 238, 154 N.E.2d 253.) Defendant does not deny that his right to jury trial was expressly waived. He argues that the record, as recited below, fails to reflect a knowing and understanding waiver:

"THE CLERK: Erie McClinton and Joe Bennett.

THE COURT: Where is Erie McClinton?

MR. McCLINTON: Here.

THE COURT: And Joe Bennett?

MR. BENNETT: Here.

THE COURT: What do you fellows do for a living?

A DEFENDANT: I'm a laborer.

THE COURT: We'll need the public defender. Are you ready for trial?

MR. McCLINTON: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Are you ready ...


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