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People v. Palmer

NOVEMBER 6, 1974.

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

v.

WILLIAM EUGENE PALMER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Macon County; the Hon. RODNEY A. SCOTT, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE CLYDESDALE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The defendant, William Eugene Palmer, was indicted by the Macon County grand jury on February 8, 1973, in a two-count indictment charging him in Count I with armed robbery and in Count II with robbery.

Mr. Palmer allegedly took a billfold containing $9 from Virginia Bethards on December 9, 1972, while armed with a claw hammer. On arraignment defendant pleaded not guilty to both counts.

On May 17, 1973, Palmer appeared before the court and offered to change his plea of not guilty to the robbery charge in return for a dismissal of the armed robbery charge and an agreed-upon sentence.

The State informed the court that the agreement was that defendant would plead guilty to Count II of the indictment (the robbery count) in return for the State's dismissal of Count I of the indictment (the armed robbery count). If the presentence report recommended probation or conditional discharge, the People would concur in this. If it recommended denial, the People would concur in that. If the court refused to grant probation or conditional discharge, the State would recommend a term in the penitentiary of 2 to 6 years. Defense counsel made no contention that the agreement had been otherwise than stated. The court indicated that it tentatively concurred in the proposed disposition.

At the sentencing hearing held on June 4, 1973, the court adopted the recommendation set forth in the presentence report and denied probation. The court then, pursuant to the plea negotiations, sentenced the defendant to the Department of Corrections for a minimum term of 2 years and a maximum term of 6 years, plus 3 years parole. On motion of the State, Count I of the indictment was nolle prosequi and stricken.

Defendant appeals from that judgment and sentence and alleges as error that he was not adequately admonished as to the maximum sentence provided by law for robbery, nor was he adequately admonished as to the minimum sentence provided by law for robbery, as required by Supreme Court Rule 402.

Supreme Court Rule 402 reads in part, as follows:

"In hearings on pleas of guilty, there must be substantial compliance with the following:

(a) Admonitions to Defendant. The court shall not accept a plea of guilty without first, by addressing the defendant personally in open court, informing him of and determining that he understands the following:

(2) the minimum and maximum sentence prescribed by law, including, when applicable, the penalty to which the defendant may be subjected because of prior convictions or consecutive sentences."

Since the defendant has not alleged any other errors under Rule 402, we need only concern ourselves with the question of whether or not the trial court substantially complied with Supreme Court Rule 402(a)(2) in accepting the defendant's plea of guilty. What constitutes substantial compliance must be determined by an examination of the facts and circumstances as set out in the entire record. At the hearing on May 17, 1973, the court advised the defendant as follows:

"* * * There are a number of ways that cases can now be disposed of. You could be sentenced to probation. You could be admitted to full probation, you could be admitted to a partial sort of probation where you spend some time in jail, some time outside, you could as ...


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