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07/20/88 Kareem Faheem-El, v. Paul Klincar

July 20, 1988

KAREEM FAHEEM-EL, PETITIONER

v.

PAUL KLINCAR, CHAIRMAN, PRISONER REVIEW BOARD, ET AL., RESPONDENTS



SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS

527 N.E.2d 307, 123 Ill. 2d 291, 122 Ill. Dec. 809 1988.IL.1126

Original petition for writ of habeas corpus.

APPELLATE Judges:

CHIEF JUSTICE MORAN delivered the opinion of the court.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MORAN

Petitioner, Kareem Faheem-El, also known as Lawrence Griffin, filed in this court an original petition for a writ of habeas corpus seeking his release from the Cook County jail. The petition is directed against the chairman of the Prisoner Review Board, the Director of Corrections and the sheriff of Cook County (collectively, respondents). Petitioner contends that his current imprisonment pursuant to a parole revocation order of the Prisoner Review Board (Board) is unlawful and that a writ of habeas corpus should issue for his discharge from custody.

This case presents the question whether the length of parole for those prisoners sentenced between January 1, 1973, and February 1, 1978, is strictly limited to the length of the "parole term" as set forth in section 5-8-1(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-1(d)) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code of Corrections) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 1001 et seq.).

The relevant facts set forth in the petition for a writ of habeas corpus are admitted by respondents. In 1973, petitioner was convicted of murder and sentenced to an indeterminate term of 30 to 90 years' imprisonment. Ten years later, on October 5, 1983, petitioner was paroled from the Stateville Correctional Center.

On January 23, 1984, petitioner was arrested and charged with a parole violation. However, the underlying criminal charges were dropped and at the final parole revocation hearing on February 5, 1985, petitioner was continued on parole.

On April 5, 1987, approximately 3 1/2 years after first being paroled, petitioner was arrested and charged with delivering $30 worth of cocaine. A Judge found petitioner eligible for bail. Petitioner claims he was, and has been, ready, willing and able to post the $1,500 cash bond necessary to secure his release.

Petitioner's release was prevented, however, when respondents issued a parole violator warrant against petitioner soon after his arrest. On October 9, 1987, the Board held a final parole revocation hearing. The Board found that plaintiff had violated a condition of his parole on April 5, 1987, and ordered him incarcerated as a parole violator. Petitioner is currently imprisoned in the Cook County jail pursuant to the Board's parole revocation order.

This court is authorized by the 1970 Illinois Constitution to exercise original jurisdiction in cases relating to habeas corpus (Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, § 4(a)). (See also 107 Ill. 2d R. 381; Hughes v. Kiley (1977), 67 Ill. 2d 261, 266.) Habeas corpus provides relief only on the grounds specified in section 10-124 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 10-124). (People v. Warr (1973), 54 Ill. 2d 487, 491 (construing the predecessor of section 10-124 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 65, par. 22)).) Section 10-124 provides, among other things, that, if it appears that the prisoner is in custody by virtue of process from any court legally constituted, he may be discharged even though the original imprisonment was lawful when "by some act, omission or event which has subsequently taken place, the party has become entitled to his discharge" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 10-124(2)). Under this provision, a prisoner who has satisfied the judgment under which he is confined may invoke the writ of habeas corpus to obtain his release from imprisonment. (People ex rel. Titzel v. Hill (1931), 344 Ill. 246, 251.) On the other hand, habeas corpus does not lie if the person is in custody by virtue of a final judgment of any circuit court, or of any proceeding for the enforcement of such judgment, unless the time during which such party may be legally detained has expired. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 10-123.) Therefore, in this case, only if petitioner may no longer be legally detained under the sentence of imprisonment imposed against him in 1973 should a writ of habeas corpus issue for his discharge from custody.

Petitioner was paroled on October 5, 1983, after serving 10 years of a 30- to 90-year term of imprisonment. Section 3-3-8 provides that "[t]he length of parole . . . is set out in Section 5-8-1 unless parole is sooner terminated." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 1003-3-8.) Section 5-8-1 in turn dictates the sentence of imprisonment for a felony and provides in relevant part:

"(a) A sentence of imprisonment for a felony shall be an indeterminate sentence set by the ...


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