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02/17/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. STANLEY PASTEWSKI

February 17, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT,
v.
STANLEY PASTEWSKI, APPELLEE. -- THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT, V. MOSES WARFIELD, APPELLEE.



The Honorable Justice Miller delivered the opinion of the court: Justice Heiple, specially concurring: Justice Freeman, dissenting: Justice Harrison joins in this dissent.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Miller

JUSTICE MILLER delivered the opinion of the court:

The question common to these consolidated appeals involves the construction of the statute governing the determination of the maximum commitment period for a defendant who has been found not guilty of a criminal offense by reason of insanity. In each of the cases before us, the trial judge relied on a provision of the extended-term sentencing statute in calculating the defendant's maximum period of commitment. The appellate court reversed in both cases, interpreting this court's recent decision in People v. Palmer (1992), 148 Ill. 2d 70, 170 Ill. Dec. 260, 592 N.E.2d 940, as forbidding application of the extended-term statute to insanity acquittees. ( Pastewski, 251 Ill. App. 3d 358, 190 Ill. Dec. 659, 622 N.E.2d 69; Warfield, No. 3-93-0042 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).) We allowed the State's petitions for leave to appeal (145 Ill. 2d R. 315(a)), and we now reverse the judgments of the appellate court and affirm the judgments of the circuit court.

The defendant in cause No. 76447, Stanley Pastewski, was charged on October 2, 1990, in the circuit court of Will County with burglary and attempted arson. Pastewski was found unfit to stand trial, and he remained unfit for the remainder of the trial court proceedings. At a discharge hearing conducted on March 26, 1992, Pastewski was found not guilty of the two offenses by reason of insanity. Pastewski was then remanded to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for an evaluation on an inpatient basis, in accordance with section 5-2-4(a) ofthe Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4(a)).

At a subsequent hearing on the question, defense counsel stipulated to a report by the Department that found that the defendant was subject to involuntary admission; the defendant had no objection to the finding. The judge concluded that the defendant was subject to involuntary admission. In determining the maximum period of confinement for the defendant pursuant to section 5-2-4(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections, the judge noted that the defendant's prior conviction for burglary within 10 years of the present charges would have made him eligible for an extended-term sentence if he had been convicted of the offenses charged here. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 1005-5-3.2(b)(1).) The defendant objected, arguing that this court's decision in Palmer prohibited the use of the extended-term provisions. The judge disagreed, believing that Palmer was distinguishable, and set the defendant's maximum period of confinement at 14 years, an extended term. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-2(a)(4).) The judge later determined that the defendant could be confined under the commitment order no later than August 31, 1997, after allowing the defendant day-for-day good-time credit and credit for time already served.

The defendant appealed, contending that the maximum period of his commitment could not exceed a regular, nonextended sentence. The appellate court agreed with the defendant that Palmer bars the use of the extended-term provisions in determining an insanity acquittee's maximum commitment period. (251 Ill. App. 3d 358.) The appellate court therefore reversed the commitment order and remanded the cause so that a new order could be entered without reference to the extended-term statute. We allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal (145 Ill. 2d R. 315(a)).

The defendant in cause No. 76518, Moses Warfield, was charged with burglary and theft in April 1992 in the circuit court of Will County. A month later, the defendant was charged with burglary in a separate Will County prosecution; the two cases were subsequently consolidated before the same judge who heard Pastewski's case. On September 28, 1992, the judge determined that the defendant was fit to stand trial and, in a stipulated bench trial, found the defendant not guilty of the charged offenses by reason of insanity. The defendant was then remanded to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for an evaluation on an inpatient basis. The Department concluded that the defendant was subject to involuntary admission. At a hearing on January 7, 1993, the parties stipulated to the contents of the Department's report, and the court found that the defendant was subject to involuntary admission and committed him accordingly.

In determining the maximum length of the defendant's commitment at the January 7, 1993, hearing, the judge again relied on the extended-term sentencing provisions, rejecting the defendant's contention that, under Palmer, the maximum commitment period could not be determined by reference to that statute. In addition, the judge denied the defendant's separate contention that application of the extended-term provisions to insanity acquittees but not to other classes of defendants violated equal protection. The defendant's prior conviction for burglary would have made the defendant eligible for an extended-term sentence of 14 years if he had been convicted of the charges here, and the judge thus fixed the defendant's maximum period of confinement at 14 years. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-2(a)(4).) After allowing the defendant day-for-day good-time credit in addition to credit for time already served, the judge determined that the commitment order could expire no later than January 11, 1998.

The appellate court reversed the judgment in an unpublished order, reaffirming its earlier decision in defendant Pastewski's appeal that a court may not consider the extended-term statute in determining the maximum period of commitment for an insanity acquittee. (No. 3-93-0042 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).) The appellate court thus remanded the cause for entry of a new commitment order. We allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal (145 Ill. 2d R. 315(a)) and consolidated the two cases for purposes of argument and disposition.

I

A defendant who is found not guilty of an offense by reason of insanity, whether at a discharge hearing, as in defendant Pastewski's case, or at a trial, as in defendant Warfield's case, must be evaluated by the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for an assessment of the acquittee's future treatment needs. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4(a); Palmer, 148 Ill. 2d at 83.) If an insanity acquittee is found to be subject to involuntary admission or in need of mental health services on an inpatient basis, he is to be committed to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for an indefinite period of time. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4(b).) Section 5-2-4(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections further provides:

"Such period of commitment shall not exceed the maximum length of time that the defendant would have been required to serve, less credit for good behavior, before becoming eligible for release had he been convicted of and received the maximum sentence for the most serious crime for which he has been acquitted by reason of insanity. The Court shall determine the maximum period of commitment by an appropriate order." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4(b).

In both of the cases before us, the trial courtdetermined that the defendants' prior criminal records would have qualified them for extended-term sentences under section 5-5-3.2(b)(1) of the Unified Code of Corrections if the defendants had been found guilty of the present charges. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 1005-5-3.2(b)(1).) Accordingly, the judge relied on that portion of the extended-term statute in determining the maximum periods of confinement for both defendants. The appellate court reached the opposite conclusion, however, believing that the period of commitment for an insanity acquittee may not be based on the extended-term provisions. As we have noted, the appellate court believed that the present appeals were controlled by Palmer, a decision that the trial judge found distinguishable. We now consider that case, and its correct interpretation.

Palmer involved the application to an insanity acquittee of the extended-term sentencing provision found in section 5-5-3.2(b)(2) of the Unified Code of Corrections. That portion of the statute permits the imposition of an extended-term sentence when "a defendant is convicted of any felony and the court finds that the offense was accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 1005-5-3.2(b)(2).) Palmer construed the wanton cruelty provision as requiring proof that the defendant consciously sought to inflict pain and suffering on the victim of the offense. ( Palmer, 148 Ill. 2d at 87-88.) The court believed that a finding of that intent could not be made with respect to an insanity acquittee, who is, by definition, not criminally responsible for his conduct. ( Palmer, 148 Ill. 2d at 88.) The court concluded, "The successful assertion of the insanity defense precludes a finding that the insanity acquittee was conscious of his conduct such that the requisite finding that the insanity acquittee's offensewas indicative of wanton cruelty could be made." ( Palmer, 148 Ill. 2d at 88.) In the course of its discussion, the Palmer court broadly declared that "a trial court may not base a maximum commitment period for an insanity acquittee on the extended-term statute" and, later, that "the maximum period of commitment for an insanity acquittee may not be based upon the extended-term statute." ( Palmer, 148 Ill. 2d at 84, 94.) The appellate court believed that the results reached in the present cases were dictated by the broad statements appearing in Palmer.

The scope of the Palmer decision must be limited to the precise question before the court in that case. Section 5-5-3.2(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections authorizes the imposition of an extended-term sentence in a variety of circumstances, and the Palmer court addressed only one of the multiple grounds then listed in the statute. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, pars. 1005-5-3.2(b)(1) through (b)(5); see also Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, pars. 1005-5-3.2(b)(1) through (b)(7).) Palmer decided nothing more than that the wanton cruelty provision of the extended-term statute is not an available means of determining the maximum period of commitment for an insanity acquittee. Thus, we believe that the Palmer court spoke too broadly when it suggested, in dicta, that the maximum commitment period for an insanity acquittee may never be determined with reference to the extended-term statute. Palmer addressed only the wanton cruelty provision of the extended-term statute, and the case said nothing, and decided nothing, regarding the application of the other portions of that statute to insanity acquittees. We therefore do not construe Palmer as establishing that the extended-term sentencing provisions may never be used in determining the maximum period of commitment for an insanity acquittee.

The defendants argue, however, that application of the extended-term provision involved in these appeals is inconsistent with the nature of an insanity acquittal. The defendants maintain that the portion of the extended-term statute at issue here, section 5-5-3.2(b)(1), is purely punitive and, thus, may not be used in determining the maximum commitment period for an individual who has been found not guilty of an offense by reason of insanity. According to the defendants, an acquittal on grounds of insanity means that the offender ...


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