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In Re Beasley

OPINION FILED MARCH 23, 1977.

IN RE SHAWN BEASLEY, A MINOR, APPELLANT (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE). — IN RE ROBERT CHATMAN, A MINOR, APPELLEE (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT). — IN RE DANIEL BUTLER, A MINOR, APPELLEE (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT).


No. 48351. — Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Erwin L. Martay and Peter F. Costa, Judges, presiding. No. 48389. — Appeals from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeals from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. James P. Piragine and Aubrey F. Kaplan, Judges, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE RYAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied May 26, 1977.

This case involves three proceedings in the circuit court of Cook County under the Juvenile Court Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 37, par. 701-1 et seq.). In each case the minor respondent admitted the allegations of the delinquency petition which charged that he had committed a crime. Each minor was adjudged to be a delinquent and was committed to the Department of Corrections and each appealed. The appellate court affirmed the judgment as to Shawn Beasley. (35 Ill. App.3d 816.) Another division of the Appellate Court for the First District reversed the judgments as to Robert Chatman (36 Ill. App.3d 227) and as to Daniel Butler (36 Ill. App.3d 234). We allowed petitions for leave to appeal, and the cases were consolidated in this court. The common issue concerns what standards must guide a trial judge in assessing the due process sufficiency of juvenile delinquency proceedings wherein minors make admissions of guilt.

In this court all three minors argue that due process requires the trial judge in a juvenile proceeding to substantially comply with Supreme Court Rule 402 (58 Ill.2d R. 402) before accepting an admission by the minor that he committed the act alleged in the delinquency petition. They argue that the requirements of Rule 402 are indispensable to a determination of whether a minor has voluntarily and intelligently made an admission.

From the language of the rule it is apparent that it was adopted for the purpose of assuring certain procedural rights to defendants in criminal proceedings. Nothing in the rules suggests its intended application to other than criminal cases. Section 2-9 of the Juvenile Court Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 37, par. 702-9) clearly indicates that proceedings under the Act are not criminal. Although such a proceeding retains certain adversary characteristics, it is not in the usual sense an adversary proceeding, but it is one to be administered in a spirit of humane concern for and to promote the welfare of the minor as well as to serve the best interests of the community. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 37, par. 701-2.

The full expectation of the separate and distinct treatment of juveniles under the various State juvenile court acts has not been realized (see Kent v. United States, 383 U.S. 541, 16 L.Ed.2d 84, 86 S.Ct. 1045; In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 18 L.Ed.2d 527, 87 S.Ct. 1428; In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 25 L.Ed.2d 368, 90 S.Ct. 1068), and certain due process safeguards normally associated with criminal proceedings have been extended for the protection of juveniles to accord to them fundamental fairness. However, "the juvenile court proceeding has not yet been held to be a `criminal prosecution'." (McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, 403 U.S. 528, 541, 29 L.Ed.2d 647, 658, 91 S.Ct. 1976.) As observed in McKeiver, it is not indicated that to assure the concept of fundamental fairness a juvenile proceeding should be developed into a fully adversary process or that the idealistic prospect of an intimate, informal protective proceeding be abandoned and the juveniles returned to the criminal court.

In support of our conclusion that Rule 402 was not intended to apply to other than criminal cases, we note that Rule 402 is contained in article IV of the Supreme Court Rules, which is entitled "Rules on Criminal Proceedings in the Trial Court." As the Supreme Court held in McKeiver, this court has held that delinquency proceedings, although subject to the protection of due process, are not criminal in nature. (See also People ex rel. Hanrahan v. Felt, 48 Ill.2d 171; In re Fucini, 44 Ill.2d 305; In re Urbasek, 38 Ill.2d 535.) The observation that Rule 402 was never intended for use in delinquency proceedings finds further support in the fact that one of the admonitions required by the rule, that of the "defendant's" right to trial by jury, is wholly inapplicable to proceedings in juvenile court, where the respondent does not have a right to a jury trial. People ex rel. Carey v. White, 65 Ill.2d 193; In re Presley, 47 Ill.2d 50; In re Fucini.

In addition, Rule 402 is addressed to the standards for acceptance of pleas of guilty, but not to admissions, the juvenile equivalent of such pleas. "A plea of guilty is more than a confession which admits that the accused did various acts; * * * nothing remains but to give judgment and determine punishment." (Boykin v. Alabama (1969), 395 U.S. 238, 242, 23 L.Ed.2d 274, 279, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 1711-12.) An admission, however, merely authorizes the court to find the minor to be delinquent. If the judge makes such a finding but decides that an adjudication of wardship is not in the best interests of the minor and the public, he may, even after an admission, dismiss the petition and discharge the minor. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 37, par. 704-8(1).

We further disagree with the contention of the minors that section 1-2(3)(a) of the Juvenile Court Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 37, par. 701-2(3)(a)) requires the use of Rule 402 in juvenile proceedings. That section of the Act provides: "The procedural rights assured to the minor shall be the rights of adults unless specifically precluded by laws which enhance the protection of such minors." Since, as noted above, the specific requirements of Rule 402 are not applicable to the peculiar protective procedures granted to juveniles, in the context of the instant case the quoted language from the Act means only that admissions in a Juvenile Court Act proceeding are entitled to protection at least equal to that constitutionally required for the making of guilty pleas in criminal trials. That is, the admission must be made intelligently and voluntarily, though not necessarily in accordance with Rule 402. Boykin v. Alabama held that it is error for a trial judge to accept a guilty plea without an affirmative showing that it is intelligent and voluntary; to do so would be a deprivation of due process. Though delinquency proceedings are subject to due process safeguards by virtue of both section 1-2(3)(a) of the Act and the holdings of In re Gault, In re Kent and In re Winship, it does not follow that use of Rule 402 is the only manner in which the protection of Boykin can be extended to such proceedings. Indeed, we have held that Rule 402 goes beyond the requirements of due process, in that not all its provisions are constitutionally mandated. People v. Nardi, 48 Ill.2d 111.

Boykin and its progeny make clear precisely what the record must show before a guilty plea can be accepted as voluntary and intelligent, and thus free of due process deficiencies. It was said in Boykin that a plea of guilty involves a waiver of the constitutional rights against compulsory self-incrimination, to trial by jury, and to confront one's accusers. The Supreme Court held that a voluntary and intelligent waiver of these rights cannot be presumed from a silent record.

Subsequently, it was held that Boykin does not require a trial court to recite to a defendant a litany of the rights which are waived by a guilty plea. What is required is that the record show an affirmative awareness of the consequences of a guilty plea. (United States v. Frontero (5th Cir. 1971), 452 F.2d 406, 415; United States v. Ready (4th Cir. 1972), 460 F.2d 1238; Wade v. Coiner (4th Cir. 1972), 468 F.2d 1059, 1060-61; McChesney v. Henderson (5th Cir. 1973), 482 F.2d 1101; Lockett v. Henderson (5th Cir. 1973), 484 F.2d 62; Fontaine v. United States (6th Cir. 1975), 526 F.2d 514; Casebeer v. United States (9th Cir. 1976), 531 F.2d 949.) We agree with this assessment of Boykin, and we therefore hold that it was not necessary that the three minors involved in the present appeal be told by the trial judges that their admissions waived their rights against self-incrimination and their rights to confront their accusers, the two Boykin rights that are applicable to juvenile proceedings. It is sufficient to satisfy due process requirements that it be apparent from the record that the minors were aware of the consequences of their admissions; that is, that they understood their rights against self-incrimination, their rights to confront their accusers and their rights to a trial; that by the admissions they waived these rights and that the waiver conferred upon the court the authority to treat them in a manner authorized by the Juvenile Court Act.

The petition in Beasley's case alleged that the minor was delinquent in that he committed the offense of burglary by entering a railroad shanty without authority with intent to commit therein a theft. At the hearing, the court, the respondent and the respondent's court-appointed counsel, Mr. Musberger, engaged in the following colloquy:

"MR. MUSBERGER: There is going to be an admission.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. MUSBERGER: Your Honor, the Respondent has been advised of his Constitutional Rights and after being so advised, he has elected to waive those rights and make an admission to the charge.

THE COURT: Young man, were you advised of your legal Constitutional Rights when you spoke to the lawyer?

THE RESPONDENT: Yes.

THE COURT: And were you advised that you had a right to deny the burglary and that you had a right to trial in court?

THE RESPONDENT: Yes.

THE COURT: That you have a right to have your lawyer cross-examine all state's witnesses in open court? And you're presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? That you have a right to have the state's attorney prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt? And that you admit to the burglary?

THE RESPONDENT: Yes.

THE COURT: Without any promises?

THE RESPONDENT: Yes.

THE COURT: And do you understand that I could send you away to the ...


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