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People v. Reynolds

OPINION FILED JUNE 10, 1976.

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

v.

CARL REYNOLDS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Livingston County; the Hon. SAMUEL G. HARROD III, Judge, presiding.

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

Defendant appeals his conviction of forgery upon a jury verdict and the sentence of 2 to 10 years imposed, consecutive to a sentence being served in another State.

The sole issue raised upon appeal is whether the trial court erred in accepting defendant's waiver of a presentence investigation and report, and whether the sentence imposed is excessive.

The record discloses that the trial court did order the preparation of a report of presentence investigation as required by statute. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 1005-3-1.) Such section expressly provides that a defendant may waive such investigation and report.

The record shows that on the day following such order defendant requested prompt disposition and imposition of sentence. He advised the court that he was then serving a sentence in Missouri for a similar offense and that he was permitted to work and earn money while he was incarcerated there, and for such reason wished to return to serving that sentence and resume working to earn money.

It is not urged that defendant's waiver was not voluntary or that it was not understandingly made. It is said, however, that the trial court should have denied the waiver and sought a full inquiry into defendant's character and history to impose a more just sentence.

The record, however, includes substantial information before the court concerning defendant's asserted drinking problems and the stated origin and reasons for his drinking. He also indicated his efforts to rehabilitate himself with regard to drinking and his belief that he had enjoyed partial success. The record also discloses four prior convictions for forgery or associated offenses, together with convictions for other lesser offenses. The defendant's employment qualifications and record were disclosed. Such record discloses substantial information upon the factors of character and background to permit the exercise of judicial discretion in imposing sentence. We find no error in the granting of defendant's waiver.

Defendant's contention was that the sentence imposed was excessive in view of the nature of the offense and defendant's history and character. The trial court imposed a sentence with a relatively low minimum but a high maximum. The minimum of two years was not excessive in the light of defendant's record of convictions for the offense here involved. The maximum sentence imposed was proper in the light of the apparent chronic nature of defendant's conduct and his admitted need for rehabilitation.

The judgment is affirmed.

Affirmed.

SIMKINS, J., concurs.

Mr. JUSTICE CRAVEN, dissenting in part and concurring in part:

After a jury trial, defendant was convicted of forgery in connection with the passing of a check for $25 in Pontiac, Illinois. At his sentencing hearing, defendant stated that he wished to waive presentence report because he was, at the time of trial, incarcerated at Jefferson City, Missouri, where he was earning money for his work under a prison program and receiving psychological support through a United Jaycees program to overcome his drinking problem. Defendant said he preferred not to remain in Illinois for the time involved in preparing a presentence report. He explained at the sentencing hearing that he had a serious drinking problem which he felt was at the root of his criminal behavior.

The defendant admitted to four previous convictions for passing bad checks and the State's Attorney noted that defendant's record also included minor convictions extending back to 1949 involving charges of drunkenness, public drunkenness, and furnishing beer to minors. There were also other charges involving checks and forgery which did not lead to convictions. The State then recommended a term of imprisonment of 2 to 6 years consecutive to the sentence the defendant was then serving. The trial court judge, noting defendant's need for correctional treatment for this recurring problem and the necessity ...


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