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11/07/96 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. VICTOR JEROME

November 7, 1996

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
VICTOR JEROME BAPTIST, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Livingston County. No. 95CF120. Honorable Charles H. Frank, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication November 7, 1996. As Corrected January 2, 1997.

Honorable Robert J. Steigmann, J., Honorable John T. McCullough, J. - Concur, Honorable James A. Knecht, J. - Concur. Justice Steigmann delivered the opinion of the court.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Steigmann

JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the opinion of the court:

In June 1995, the State charged defendant, Victor Jerome Baptist, by indictment with four counts of aggravated battery for hitting two correctional officers. 720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(6) (West 1994). In October 1995, defendant moved to dismiss, alleging, in part, that this prosecution constituted double jeopardy. The trial court denied his motions. Defendant appeals, and we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

In February 1995, while serving a 12-year sentence at Pontiac Correctional Center, defendant hit two prison guards. Following a February 1995 disciplinary hearing, the prison adjustment committee found defendant guilty of violating prison disciplinary rules and (1) reduced his good-time credit by one year, and (2) sentenced defendant to two years of grade C segregation.

In June 1995, the grand jury indicted defendant, charging him with four counts of aggravated battery based on the same conduct for which prison authorities had disciplined him. At a June 1995 hearing, the trial court granted the State's motion to amend two of the counts to substitute defendant's name for another name as the person charged. In October 1995, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the amended counts, alleging that the misnomer was a substantial defect which caused him substantial injustice. He also filed a motion to dismiss the entire indictment on double jeopardy grounds. The court denied both motions, and defendant appeals.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Double Jeopardy

Defendant argues that the sanctions imposed upon him following the February 1995 prison disciplinary hearing barred his criminal prosecution on double jeopardy grounds. In response, the State contends that (1) the prison disciplinary sanctions imposed on defendant are not "punishment" for double jeopardy purposes, and (2) even if prison disciplinary sanctions could be deemed punishment, criminal prosecution would not place a defendant in jeopardy of a second punishment where, as here, the disciplinary sanctions affect only a defendant's original sentence. We agree with both of the State's arguments.

As a preliminary matter, we note that the United States Supreme Court has held that application of the double jeopardy clause is limited to proceedings which are "'essentially criminal.'" Breed v. Jones, 421 U.S. 519, 528, 44 L. Ed. 2d 346, 355, 95 S. Ct. 1779, 1785 (1975), quoting Helvering v. Mitchell, 303 U.S. 391, 398, 82 L. Ed. 917, 921, 58 S. Ct. 630, 633 (1938). Because a prison disciplinary proceeding is not a criminal prosecution, it is not subject to the double jeopardy clause. Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 556, 41 L. Ed. 2d 935, 951, 94 S. Ct. 2963, 2975 (1974); Lucero v. Gunter, 17 F.3d 1347, 1351 (10th Cir. 1994); United States v. Newby, 11 F.3d 1143, 1144 (3d Cir. 1993).

1. Prison Disciplinary Sanctions Do Not Constitute Punishment

The double jeopardy clause of the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution provides that no person shall "be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." U.S. Const., amend. V. The United States Supreme Court has held that the clause protects individuals against three distinct abuses: (1) prosecuting a defendant for the same conduct after an acquittal; (2) prosecuting a defendant for the same crime after conviction; and (3) subjecting a defendant to multiple punishments for the same crime. United States v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435, 440, 104 L. Ed. 2d 487, 496, 109 S. Ct. 1892, 1897 (1989). Defendant argues that the State committed the third abuse by attempting to ...


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