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03/23/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. LLOYD WAYNE

March 23, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,
v.
LLOYD WAYNE HAMPTON, APPELLANT.



The Honorable Justice Miller delivered the opinion of the court.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Miller

JUSTICE MILLER delivered the opinion of the court:

The defendant, Lloyd Wayne Hampton, appeals from an order of the circuit court of Madison County dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief. In his post-conviction petition, the defendant requested vacatur of his guilty plea and sentence. Because the defendant was sentenced to death for the underlying murder conviction, he appeals directly to this court. 134 Ill. 2d R. 651(a).

Our prior opinion in this case contains a detailed recitation of the facts. ( People v. Hampton (1992), 149 Ill. 2d 71, 171 Ill. Dec. 439, 594 N.E.2d 291.) We repeat only those facts germane to the issues in the post-conviction petition.

On February 9, 1990, Lloyd Hampton was arrested on charges unrelated to this murder conviction. At the time of his arrest, defendant was driving a car registered to Roy E. Pendleton, who later the same day was found murdered. Defendant confessed to killing Pendleton, and made a videotaped statement detailing his commission of the crime. In May 1990, the defendant pleaded guilty to murder and other charges related to the Pendleton killing. Before the State's recitation of the factual basis for the guilty plea, the trial judge advised the defendant that the State was seeking the death penalty. The judge repeatedly questioned the defendant regarding the voluntariness of his plea and his understanding of the consequences of his plea. It is uncontested that at the guilty plea hearing the judge did not admonish the defendant that if defendant did not receive the death penalty and the State sought sentencing under the habitual criminal statute, he could under certain circumstances be sentenced to natural life imprisonment. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 33B-1.) The trial judge accepted defendant's guilty plea, and ordered a presentence report.

Following the guilty plea, defendant waived his right to a jury and chose to proceed with a sentencing hearing before the judge without a jury. At the conclusion of the eligibility phase of the sentencing hearing, the judge found the State had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was 18 years of age or older and was eligible for the death penalty pursuant to the murder-in-course-of-felony aggravating circumstance found in section 9-1(b)(6) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 9-1(b)(6)).

The judge then commenced the aggravation and mitigation phase of the sentencing hearing. Over defense objection, the court admitted into evidence certified copies of defendant's prior convictions. The certified copies indicated that the defendant had prior convictions for theft, robbery, escape, and assault with a deadly weapon. At the State's request, the court also took judicial notice of matters presented in the guilty plea hearing and matters in evidence at the eligibility phase of the death penalty hearing. Additionally, the court took judicial notice of the information contained in the presentence report, specifically the defendant's history of delinquency and criminality and defendant's statements to the interviewer.

The defense chose not to present any evidence in mitigation, but the defendant made a statement, noting that, should he be sentenced to death, he wanted no appeals beyond those required by State law. The trial court found no mitigating factors sufficient to preclude a sentence of death, and the defendant was sentenced to death. On direct appeal, this court affirmed defendant's convictions and death sentence. People v. Hampton (1992), 149 Ill. 2d 71, 171 Ill. Dec. 439, 594 N.E.2d 291.

Following this court's decision on direct appeal, defendant moved to waive all further appeals on his behalf. We remanded defendant's case to the trial court for a determination of his mental competency to make such a waiver. In September 1992, we held that the defendant was competent to waive further appeals. The date for defendant's execution was set for November 11, 1992.

Despite his earlier motion to ban appeals, the defendant then initiated the present action under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 122-1 et seq.). At defendant's request, this court granted a stay of execution. The defendant filed a post-conviction petition in the circuit court of Madison County claiming he was denied due process of law and effective assistance of counsel. Defendant argued that he was denied due process of law because his guilty plea was not voluntarily entered. Defendant claimed his plea was not knowingly, and therefore not voluntarily, entered because the trial judge did not admonish him that if he was not sentenced to death, he could, under certain circumstances, be sentenced to a mandatory life sentence under the habitual criminal statute. Defendant also argued that he was denied effective assistance of counsel because trial counsel failed to advise him that if he was not sentenced to death it was possible that he could be sentenced to life in prison under the habitual criminal statute. Defendant also claimed his trial counsel was ineffective because he failed to move to vacate the guilty plea on grounds of the judge's allegedly inadequate admonition. Finally, defendant challenged the constitutionality of the Illinois death penalty statute.

The State moved for dismissal of the defendant's post-conviction petition. After hearing arguments on the State's motion, the circuit judge dismissed the petition. The judge found that the admonition given to the defendant at the guilty plea hearing was sufficient because the State did not seek a mandatory life sentence under the habitual criminal statute and did not present any evidence on the issue of a mandatory life sentence. The trial judge did not rule on the constitutionality of the death penalty or other issues raised in the post-conviction petition which were not addressed in the brief submitted on behalf of the defendant in support of the petition.

I

Defendant first claims that his guilty plea was not knowingly or intelligently made. The defendant contends his constitutional rights were violated because the trial judge, before accepting defendant's guilty plea, failed to admonish him that his prior convictions could mandate a sentence of natural life imprisonment under the provisions of the habitual criminal statute if he was not sentenced to death. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 33B-1.) The State argues that defendant's challenge to the voluntariness of his guilty plea is waived by his failure to raise the issue on direct appeal.

The Post-Conviction Hearing Act allows a criminal defendant the opportunity to challenge his conviction when there has been a substantial denial of his constitutional rights. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, pars. 122-1 through 122-7.) A post-conviction action is a collateral proceeding, not an appeal from the underlying conviction. ( People v. Eddmonds (1991), 143 Ill. 2d 501, 510, 161 Ill. Dec. 306, 578 N.E.2d 952; People v. Albanese (1988), 125 Ill. 2d 100, 104, 125 Ill. Dec. 838, 531 N.E.2d 17.) The principles of res judicata and waiver limit the scope of post-conviction review. ( People v. Winsett (1992), 153 Ill. 2d 335, 346, 180 Ill. Dec. 109, 606 N.E.2d 1186.) Consequently, issues that were raised on appeal from the underlying judgment of conviction, or that could have been raised, but were not, will not ordinarily be considered in a post-conviction proceeding. ( People v. Neal (1990), 142 Ill. 2d 140, 146, 154 Ill. Dec. 587, 568 N.E.2d 808; People v. ...


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