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11/06/87 William Heirens, v. Prisoner Review Board Et

November 6, 1987

WILLIAM HEIRENS, PETITIONER-APPELLANT

v.

PRISONER REVIEW BOARD ET AL., RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIFTH DISTRICT

516 N.E.2d 613, 162 Ill. App. 3d 762, 114 Ill. Dec. 458 1987.IL.1656

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Johnson County; the Hon. James R. Williamson, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LEWIS delivered the opinion of the court. HARRISON and WELCH, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LEWIS

Petitioner, William Heirens, appeals from an order of the circuit court of Johnson County which dismissed his complaint for mandamus on motion of respondents Illinois Prisoner Review Board and Michael P. Lane, Director of the Department of Corrections.

On September 4, 1946, petitioner entered pleas of guilty to three murder indictments and 26 additional indictments charging burglaries, robberies and assaults. Petitioner was sentenced to three consecutive life terms on the murder convictions. The sentences on the other convictions were ordered to run concurrently with each other but consecutively to the life terms. Petitioner has commenced numerous proceedings since his convictions in 1946. See, e.g., People v. Heirens (1954), 4 Ill. 2d 131, 122 N.E.2d 231, cert. denied (1955), 349 U.S. 947, 99 L. Ed. 1273, 75 S. Ct. 876; People v. Heirens (1967), 38 Ill. 2d 294, 230 N.E.2d 875, cert. denied (1968), 390 U.S. 1044, 20 L. Ed. 2d 306, 88 S. Ct. 1644; United States ex rel. Heirens v. Pate (7th Cir. 1967), 401 F.2d 147; United States ex rel. Heirens v. Pate (7th Cir. 1968), 405 F.2d 449; People ex rel. Heirens v. Mizell (1980), 89 Ill. App. 3d 1208, 417 N.E.2d 277 (unpublished Rule 23 order); Heirens v. Mizell (7th Cir. 1984), 729 F.2d 449; People ex rel. Heirens v. Greer (1985), 135 Ill. App. 3d 60, 481 N.E.2d 877.

On appeal in this proceeding petitioner contends: (1) that under sections 5-8-4(c)(1) and (e)(1) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, pars. 1005-8-4(c)(1), (e)(1)), "the Department of Corrections is required to calculate his present sentences as two terms of not less than twenty years each and not more than forty years each, less good conduct credits"; (2) that based on his first argument, the Prisoner Review Board is required "to set a release date for petitioner which recognizes the eighty year maximum sentence"; and (3) that the denial of petitioner's right to release from confinement and parole denied petitioner the due process of law. We affirm.

Sections 5 -- 8 -- 4(c)(1) and (e)(1) of the Unified Code of Corrections (the Code) provide as follows:

"(c)(1) For sentences imposed under law in effect prior to February 1, 1978 the aggregate maximum of consecutive sentences shall not exceed the maximum term authorized under Section 5 -- 8 -- 1 for the 2 most serious felonies involved. The aggregate minimum period of consecutive sentences shall not exceed the highest minimum term authorized under Section 5 -- 8 -- 1 for the 2 most serious felonies involved. . . .

(e) In determining the manner in which consecutive sentences of imprisonment, one or more of which is for a felony, will be served, the Department of Corrections shall treat the offender as though he had been committed for a single term with the following incidents:

(1) the maximum period of a term of imprisonment shall consist of the aggregate of the maximums of the imposed indeterminate terms, if any, plus the aggregate of the imposed determinate sentences for felonies plus the aggregate of the imposed determinate sentences for misdemeanors subject to paragraph (c) of this Section." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, pars. 1005-8-1 (c)(1), (e)(1).

Petitioner asserts that since a life sentence has no minimum or maximum term, a life sentence cannot be used to aggregate sentences under section 5-8-4(c)(1). Petitioner suggests therefore that each of his life sentences for murder must be treated as having a minimum term of 20 years and a maximum term of 40 years, which is the range for one of the sentences authorized for murder under the current statute. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-1(a)(1)(a).

Petitioner asserted this contention in the circuit court also. The court found that petitioner's murder convictions fell within the scope of section 5-8-1(a)(1)(b) of the Code, which provides for a natural life sentence (now without the possibility of parole) for murders "accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty" or where any of the aggravating factors set out in section 9-1(b) of the Criminal Code of 1961 are present. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, pars. 1005-8-1(a)(1)(b), 9-1(b).) The circuit court therefore concluded that petitioner's life sentences with the possibility of parole did not violate section 5-8-4(c)(1) because ...


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