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People v. Palmer

OCTOBER 20, 1972.

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

v.

WILLIAM H. PALMER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. L. SHELDON BROWN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal from the denial of defendant's Amended Post-Conviction Petition which alleged, in effect, that there had been a misunderstanding when the trial judge had accepted a guilty plea on defendant's behalf.

On November 14, 1967, defendant was indicted for the offense of murder. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1965, ch. 38, par. 9-1.) On December 11, 1967, the court appointed an attorney to represent defendant, and a plea of not guilty was entered. After a change of attorneys, with defendant then being represented by privately retained counsel, the case was called for trial on May 6, 1969, at which time defendant's attorney stated to the court:

"* * * I have had a substantial conference with my client this morning and as of yesterday, and after a full conference with him he has authorized me to move the Court to withdraw his plea of not guilty to the indictment of murder and enter a plea of guilty to involuntary manslaughter which is an included count in the indictment."

The following colloquy then took place in the courtroom but out of the presence of the prospective jurors:

"State's Attorney: Judge, in view of the representations which have just been made to the Court, the State at this time would move to reduce the charge in the indictment from murder to voluntary manslaughter.

Court: * * * Now, Mr. Palmer, do you know what a jury trial is?

Defendant: Yes, I do.

Court: And do you realize that when you withdraw your plea of not guilty to the reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter —

State's Attorney: Judge, this is voluntary.

Court: Sorry.

State's Attorney: I think the correction should also be made on the plea.

Defense Counsel: We will change it accordingly.

Court: In other words, the plea is to voluntary manslaughter. When you withdraw your plea of not guilty and enter a plea of guilty, you automatically waive your ...


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