The Honorable Justice Nickels delivered the opinion of the court.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nickels
The Honorable Justice NICKELS delivered the opinion of the court:
The sole issue presented in these consolidated appeals is whether the 1993 amendment to section 5-8-1(c) of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(c) (West 1994)) requires that a defendant file a written post-sentencing motion in the trial court to preserve sentencing issues for appellate review. We conclude that it does.
After a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County, Derrick Reed was convicted of reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. Reed was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for the reckless homicide offense to be served concurrently with a four-year sentence for driving under the influence. Reed did not file a post-sentencing motion in the trial court, but challenged his sentence as excessive on appeal. 282 Ill. App. 3d 278, 668 N.E.2d 51, 217 Ill. Dec. 866. The appellate court concluded that the 1993 amendment to section 5-8-1(c) requires a written post-sentencing motion be made in the trial court in order to preserve sentencing issues for appeal. The court reasoned that the plain language of the amendment made a written post-sentencing motion the functional equivalent of a post-trial motion. Thus, the appellate court found defendant's sentencing challenge waived and further found no plain error. We granted Reed's petition for leave to appeal. 155 Ill. 2d R. 315.
After a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County, David Turner was convicted of first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping. Turner was sentenced to consecutive prison terms of life in prison for the murder and 30 years for the aggravated kidnapping. Defendant did not file a motion in the trial court challenging his sentence. On appeal, Turner argued that the trial court considered factors during sentencing that were not supported by the record. 282 Ill. App. 3d 770, 668 N.E.2d 1058, 218 Ill. Dec. 226. Relying on People v. McCleary, 278 Ill. App. 3d 498, 501, 215 Ill. Dec. 272, 663 N.E.2d 22 (1996), the appellate court concluded that the amendment to section 5-8-1(c) requires sentencing issues be raised in a written post-sentencing motion. Thus, the appellate court found Turner's sentencing issues waived and further found no plain error. We granted Turner's petition for leave to appeal (155 Ill. 2d R. 315) and consolidated his appeal with Reed's appeal.
"A motion to reduce a sentence may be made, or the court may reduce a sentence without motion, within 30 days after the sentence is imposed. However, the court may not increase a sentence once it is imposed." (Emphasis added.) Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-1(c).
Applying settled principles of statutory construction, this court determined that the statutory language did not show a legislative intent to make post-sentencing motions a prerequisite to appealing sentencing issues. The conclusion reached in Lewis rested primarily on the permissive language contained in the first sentence of the statute. Lewis, 158 Ill. 2d at 390. This court specifically noted that this language was very different from the mandatory language found to require a written post-trial motion to preserve trial issues for appeal. Lewis, 158 Ill. 2d at 390. In addition, this court also noted that no other language in section 5-8-1(c) suggested a legislative intent to require a post-sentencing motion to preserve sentencing issues for appellate review. Lewis, 158 Ill. 2d at 390.
In Lewis, this court did not consider the 1993 amendment to section 5-8-1(c) at issue here, because the amendment applied only to sentences imposed on or after August 11, 1993. Both of the present defendants were sentenced after the effective date of the amendment to section 5-8-1(c). The amendment adds one sentence:
"A motion to reduce a sentence may be made, or the court may reduce a sentence without motion, within 30 days after the sentence is imposed. A defendant's challenge to the correctness of a sentence or to any aspect of the sentencing hearing shall be made by a written motion filed within 30 days following the imposition of sentence. However, the court may not increase a sentence once it is imposed." (Emphasis ...