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People v. Bishop

MAY 2, 1974.

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

v.

MARY FAY BISHOP, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Kankakee County; the Hon. VICTOR N. CARDOSI, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE SCOTT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The defendant, Mary Fay Bishop, pled guilty to an information filed in the circuit court of Kankakee County charging her with voluntary manslaughter. Thereafter she was sentenced to a term of not less than 5 nor more than 10 years in the penitentiary.

The first issue presented for review is whether the trial court complied with Supreme Court Rule 401 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 110A, sec. 401) by determining that the defendant understood her rights before she waived her right to be charged by an indictment.

The record discloses that the defendant was represented by counsel of her choosing and not by the public defender. After the State's Attorney presented for filing an information which charged the defendant with having committed the crime of voluntary manslaughter, the trial court gave a lengthy, detailed and comprehensive explanation to her concerning her right to a preliminary hearing and her right to be charged by an indictment should a grand jury desire to do so. The composition of a grand jury was explained to the defendant as well as the possible sentence which could be imposed for the crime of voluntary manslaughter. The following colloquy ensued between the court and the defendant:

"THE COURT: * * * You cannot be prosecuted under this information which has been presented to me unless you yourself voluntarily and intelligently decide that you are willing to waive — and that means to give up, your right to a preliminary hearing and to indictment by the Grand Jury.

You can say, "I don't want to have this matter presented to the Grand Jury. I am willing to let the prosecution proceed by way of the information." That is what I just read to you. Or you can say, "I want to have this presented to the Grand Jury."

Now, do you understand what I have just said to you?

DEFENDANT: Not really.

THE COURT: What don't you understand?

COUNSEL FOR THE DEFENDANT [to the defendant]: Remember I talked to you and we decided that you should — you said you would waive it?

DEFENDANT: I will waive it.

THE STATE: Might I add for the record — first may I state something — the witnesses are subpoenaed by the State and are ready this morning for preliminary hearing, and the Grand Jury will reconvene the 28th of March, so if there is any question of delay we will assure the defendant we are prepared to proceed with preliminary hearing and to indictment — it will be promptly made — or the matter will be presented to the Grand Jury promptly rather.

THE COURT: I am informed that the State has all their witnesses here and they are ready to proceed with the preliminary ...


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