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People v. Torres

SEPTEMBER 12, 1972.

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

v.

CARL TORRES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. JOHN S. PETERSEN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ABRAHAMSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The questions presented on this appeal are: (1) whether the trial court in accepting a guilty plea to an indictment for burglary adequately admonished the defendant in conformance with Supreme Court Rule 402(a); (2) whether the trial court erred in the conduct of the hearing in aggravation and mitigation; and (3) whether the sentence of 9 to 15 years was excessive.

In May, 1971, the defendant, then 18 years old, was indicted for burglary. At his arraignment the trial judge informed defendant that he was entitled to a trial by jury and that "burglary carries with it a possible imprisonment in the penitentiary not less than one year and not more than infinity, which means the end of the world." The defendant indicated that he understood. His privately retained counsel stated to the court that he also advised defendant of his right to a trial by jury and of the possible range of punishment, and thereupon entered a plea of not guilty and a demand for a jury trial. On June 21, 1971, defendant, by his attorney, asked leave of court to withdraw defendant's plea of not guilty and substitute therefor a plea of guilty. After both his own counsel and the court interrogated and admonished the defendant the court allowed the defendant to plead guilty. On that occasion his own counsel interrogated defendant extensively after stating to the court that he "explained to Mr. Torres, but would like to go on the record once again." The colloquy as to counsel's interrogation and admonishment of the defendant is as follows:

"Q: [Mr. Morelli] Mr. Torres, you understand that by entering a plea of guilty on this case that you are waiving your right to a trial by a Jury?

A: [Mr. Torres] Yes.

Q: And you understand that you do have a right to a trial by a Jury?

A: Right, sir.

Q: And you understand if you have a trial by a Jury you have a right to subpoena witnesses to speak on your behalf?

A: Yes.

Q: And you understand if you — you understand you have a right to a trial by a Jury, all twelve jurors have to find you guilty?

A: Yes.

Q: And you understand if you enter a plea of guilty you are waiving that right and admitting the fact that you committed a burglary as charged in the indictment against you of Novotny's?

A: Yes.

Q: And you understand by entering a plea of guilty that the punishment that could be assessed against you ranges from one year to infinity.

A: Yes.

Q. And you understand that no promises have been made by the State's Attorney or the Court or myself as to what punishment you will get?

A. Yes.

Q: Do you understand that we have a right to make application for ...


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