APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Williamson County; the Hon.
WILLIAM A. LEWIS, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE GEORGE J. MORAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Defendant Joseph Perruquet appeals from the judgment of the circuit court of Williamson County sentencing him to a minimum of one year and a maximum of 20 years upon his plea of guilty to the crime of burglary.
The sole question for review is whether the trial court imposed an excessive sentence on the defendant.
The maximum sentence of 20 years for the crime of burglary is the highest sentence the trial court could have imposed for this Class 2 felony. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, pars. 19-1(b) and 1005-8-1.
An indeterminate sentence is a definite sentence for the maximum term provided by law for which the sentence is imposed. People ex rel. Castle v. Spivey, 10 Ill.2d 586; People v. Fowler, 14 Ill.2d 252.
The above law is clearly explained in 24B C.J.S. Criminal Law § 1993 (1962):
"An indeterminate sentence differs from a determinate sentence only in that the former imposes a minimum term; and an indeterminate sentence is one for the maximum period, subject to termination by the parole board or other agency at any time after service of the minimum period. Under an indeterminate sentence accused remains confined for the period defined by law, less `good time,' or unless some duly and legally constituted agency, such as the board of parole, intervenes.
The only time at which the prisoner may say that his debt to the state is satisfied as of right is at the expiration of the maximum period, less such good conduct time as may be allowed, or, as it is sometimes stated, the maximum term of punishment can be satisfied only by actual complete service unless remitted by some legal authority.
The `maximum sentence' in an indeterminate sentence has been held to be the real sentence, whereas the `minimum sentence' is merely a period at which, and not before, as a matter of grace and not of right, the prisoner may be allowed to serve the balance of his sentence outside of confinement."
A footnote to this language points out on page 614 of the text that the
"[m]inimum sentence is merely administrative notice by court to executive department, calling attention to legislative policy that when such sentence is about to expire, question of grace and mercy should be considered and propriety of granting qualified pardon determined."
The Illinois constitution provides that "all penalties shall be determined both according to the seriousness of the offense and with the objective of restoring the offender to useful citizenship." (Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, § 11.) Since the maximum sentence is the "real sentence," the maximum sentence should be directly related to the nature of the offense.
Was the sentence of 20 years excessive in this case?
Prior to accepting the defendant's plea, the trial court explained the possible sentence the defendant could receive in the following language:
"All right, now, if you were found guilty of having violated this law you would be subject to be imprisoned for a term in the penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than 20 years. And in addition you could be fined any amount ...