SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS
507 N.E.2d 849, 116 Ill. 2d 413, 107 Ill. Dec. 696 1987.IL.515
Appeals from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. Richard Fitzgerald, Judge, presiding.
CHIEF JUSTICE CLARK delivered the opinion of the court. JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE CLARK
In these two consolidated cases, plaintiffs, Jerry Walker and Ronald Stokes, sought relief under our habeas corpus act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 110, par. 10-101 et seq.) in the circuit court of Cook County and were denied relief. On appeal, the appellate court reversed. (Walker v. Hardiman (1986), 140 Ill. App. 3d 946; Stokes v. Elrod (1986), 143 Ill. App. 3d 1159.) The State has filed petitions for leave to appeal in this court pursuant to our Rule 315(a) (87 Ill. 2d R. 315(a)), and we have allowed its petitions.
In cause No. 63203, plaintiff Jerry Walker was convicted of armed robbery and burglary in October of 1977. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of 6 to 24 years for the armed robbery and 2 to 6 years for the burglary. Walker appealed his conviction and after serving five weeks of his sentence was released on bond pending his appeal. On September 28, 1979, the appellate court affirmed his convictions. (People v. Walker (1979), 77 Ill. App. 3d 227.) The appellate court issued its mandate on February 21, 1980. On February 27, 1980, this court denied Walker's petition for leave to appeal, and on March 11, 1980, the appellate court mandate was spread of record in the circuit court. Walker's attorney was notified that Walker's convictions were affirmed and that the appellate court mandate was spread of record in the circuit court.
On October 27, 1984, Walker was arrested. On November 13, 1984, Walker filed a complaint for a writ of habeas corpus in the circuit court alleging: (1) that contrary to the established practice of the Cook County State's Attorney's office, Walker was not notified to surrender; (2) that since his conviction he has led a law-abiding and productive life; (3) that he has made no attempt to flee from the court's jurisdiction or hide from the authorities; (4) that imposition of sentence at this late date would impose an unfair hardship on him and destroy the successful rehabilitation he has achieved; and (5) that the unreasonable and unexplained delay between the issuance of the mandate and the present attempt to execute sentence deprives the court of jurisdiction.
Walker's counsel submitted an affidavit in support of the complaint and averred that at the time the appellate court issued its mandate it was the practice of the Cook County State's Attorney's office to notify defendants of a date and time to surrender if their convictions had been affirmed and the appellate court mandate was spread of record in the circuit court. Walker's counsel further stated in his affidavit that he advised Walker in April of 1980 that the State's Attorney's office would notify him (Walker) or counsel of the date and time he was to surrender. Neither Walker nor his attorney ever received notice of a date and time when Walker should surrender.
Walker testified that although he moved several times during the time he was waiting to be notified, he periodically called his attorney's office to determine if he had received any notification.
Walker worked in an automobile salvage yard from the summer of 1979 until his arrest in October of 1984. He had remained at liberty for four years and seven months after the appellate court mandate was spread of record in the circuit court. Walker testified that his mother has not worked since 1980 when she was laid off from her job, that she suffers from a heart condition which restricts her activity, and that she supports herself by drawing from a lump-sum settlement she received from the railroad as severance pay, but relies as well on Walker's salary for her support. Mrs. Walker testified that her severance money would be depleted in June or July of 1985 and that she would only have her son's salary to rely on for support.
The vice-president of the salvage yard also testified on Walker's behalf at the hearing. She stated that Walker has been in her employ for more than five years and is a valued employee who works eight hours a day, six days a week. Walker's counsel also introduced into evidence a psychological evaluation showing that Walker has a very low intelligence quotient.
From October 27, 1984, the date of his arrest, until February 25, 1985, Walker was incarcerated. On January 24, 1985, his request for habeas corpus relief was denied. As we stated earlier, the appellate court reversed the denial of his habeas corpus relief on January 31, 1986 (Walker v. Hardiman (1986), 140 Ill. App. 3d 946), and the State filed a petition for leave to appeal in this court. The petition was allowed and the cause was consolidated with cause No. 63396.
In cause No. 63396, Ronald Stokes was convicted of armed violence and attempted murder in 1979 and sentenced to concurrent terms of six years. Stockes' trial attorney represented him during post-trial proceedings and filed a notice of appeal on November 19, 1979, but then withdrew as Stokes' counsel. The State Appellate Defender was appointed as Stokes' counsel on appeal. In September 1980 Stokes was released on an appeal bond. Stokes received an appeal bond slip which stated that if the judgment he appealed from was affirmed, he should "forthwith surrender to the officer from whose custody he was bailed." According to the record, Stokes' bond slip also contained a handwritten ...