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UNITED STATES EX REL. TENNY v. WELBORN

July 6, 1994

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. WINFRED TENNY, Petitioner,
v.
GEORGE C. WELBORN, Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARVIN E. ASPEN

 MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge:

 Petitioner Winfred Tenny is presently before us seeking a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254. Tenny claims that the state failed meet its burden of proof under the Habitual Criminal Act by failing to prove the dates of commission of his two prior felonies. For the reasons set forth below, we deny Tenny's petition.

 I. Background

 Following a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Winfred Tenny was convicted of two counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated unlawful restraint. At the sentencing hearing, the state moved to have Tenny sentenced as a Class X offender pursuant to 720 ILCS 5/33B-1 (1993). In support, the state offered into evidence certified statements of Tenny's prior convictions. In addition, the Assistant State's Attorney read into the record the relevant portions of those documents, including the dates of commission, arraignment, plea and sentencing of both prior offenses. The trial judge concluded that Tenny was a habitual criminal, and thus subject to a mandatory sentence of natural life in prison. On appeal, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed both Tenny's conviction and his sentence. After the Illinois Supreme Court denied Tenny's petition for leave to appeal, Tenny filed the present habeas corpus petition.

 I. Discussion

 
The Illinois Habitual Criminal Act provides:
 
(a) Every person who has been twice convicted in any state or federal court of an offense that contains the same elements as an offense now classified in Illinois as a Class X felony, criminal sexual assault or first degree murder, and is thereafter convicted of a Class X felony, criminal sexual assault or first degree murder, committed after the prior 2 convictions, shall be adjudged an habitual criminal.
 
(b) The 2 prior convictions need not have been for the same offense.
 
(c) Any convictions which result from or are connected with the same transaction, or result from offenses committed at the same time, shall be counted for the purposes of this Section as one conviction.
 
(d) This Article shall not apply unless each of the following requirements are satisfied:
 
(2) the third offense was committed within 20 years of the date that judgment was entered on the first conviction, provided, however, that time ...

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