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People v. Wiggins

August 17, 1998

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
LORADELE WIGGINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Justice O'brien

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County.

No. 96 CR 16543

Honorable Thomas M. Davy, Judge Presiding.

On June 20, 1996, defendant, Loradele Wiggins, was charged by indictment with unlawful use of a weapon in violation of section 24-1(a)(10) of the Criminal Code of 1961. 720 ILCS 5/24-1(a)(10) (West 1992) (as amended) (the Criminal Code). On February 11, 1997, following a bench trial, defendant was convicted and sentenced to one-year's felony probation under section 24-1(b) of the Criminal Code. 720 ILCS 5/24-1(b) (West 1994). Defendant appeals.

On appeal, defendant contends: (1) Public Act 88-680 which, among other things, amended section 24-1(b) of the Criminal Code by upgrading a conviction for unlawful use of a weapon under section 24-1(a)(10) from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony, violated the Illinois Constitution's single subject rule (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, §8(d)); and (2) she was denied effective assistance of counsel. We affirm.

Article IV, section 8(d), of the Illinois Constitution provides in pertinent part: "Bills, except bills for appropriations and for the codification, revision or rearrangement of laws, shall be confined to one subject." Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, §8(d). Recently, in Johnson v. Edgar, 176 Ill. 2d 499, 514-18, 680 N.E.2d 1372, 1379-81 (1997), the Supreme Court of Illinois discussed this provision, stating:

"The single subject rule is a substantive requirement for the passage of bills and is therefore subject to judicial review.

***

The term `subject,' in this context, is to be liberally construed and the subject may be as broad as the legislature chooses. [Citations.] Nonetheless, the matters included in the enactment must have a natural and logical connection. [Citations.] The rule prohibits the inclusion of `"Discordant provisions that by no fair intendment can be considered as having any legitimate relation to each other."' [Citations.]" Johnson, 176 Ill. 2d at 514-15, 680 N.E.2d at 1379.

First, we examine Public Act 88-680. Public Act 88-680 was introduced in the Senate as Bill 1153 (SB 1153) and entitled, "An Act to amend the Criminal Code of 1961 by changing Sections 12-1, 25-1, and 26-1 and by adding Section 24-7." In this form, the purpose of SB 1153 was limited: To require any person convicted of assault, criminal damage to property, mob action, disorderly conduct or certain weapons offenses to serve between 30 and 120 hours of community service as a part of any sentence imposed, other than incarceration. The Senate passed the bill and referred it to the House for consideration.

The House replaced every word of SB 1153 as passed by the Senate except the enabling clause. The bill was retitled "An Act to Create a Safe Neighborhood Law" (the Safe Neighborhood Law). Under the new title, SB 1153 became nine articles of 161 pages amending the WIC Vendor Management Act (410 ILCS 255/1 et seq. (West 1992)), the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act (430 ILCS 65/1 et seq. (West 1992)), the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/1-100 et seq. (West 1992)), the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (705 ILCS 405/1-1 et seq. (West 1992)), the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/1-1 et seq. (West 1992)), the Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550/1 et seq. (West 1992)), the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570/100 et seq. (West 1993)), the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act 725 ILCS 120/1 et seq. (West 1994)), and the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/1-1-1 et seq. (West 1992)). In addition, the Safe Neighborhood Law created the Secure Residential Youth Care Facility Licensing Act (730 ILCS 175/45-1 et seq. (West 1994), added a Secure Residential Youth Care Facility Fund to the State Finance Act (30 ILCS 105/5.400 (West 1994)), and added article 17B, dealing with WIC fraud, to the Criminal Code (720 ILCS 5/17B/1 et seq. (West 1994)).

SB 1153 was passed as amended by both houses. The bill was signed into law by the Governor and became effective January 1, 1995.

On appeal, defendant asserts Public Act 88-680 contains "a litany of unrelated amendments" and "new matters" which render the entire act unconstitutional. In particular, defendant argues that under the single subject rule a bill amending the Criminal Code cannot also amend the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, citing In re Armour, 59 Ill. 2d 102, 104-05, 319 N.E.2d 496, 498 (1974) (ruling that the Criminal Code and the Juvenile Court Act are not related to each other), and In re W.C., 167 Ill. 2d 307, 320, 657 N.E.2d 908, 915-16 (1995) (stating that proceedings under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 are not criminal). Defendant further argues that the amendments to the WIC Vendor Management Act and the creation of article 17B of the Criminal Code dealing with WIC fraud can "by no stretch of the imagination be considered related to either the Criminal Code or the Juvenile Court Act." Defendant finally contends that none of the provisions of SB 1151 as enacted in Public Act 88-680, had anything to do with the original content of SB 1153 as it was first introduced in the Senate and that this alone constitutes a violation of the single subject rule, citing Rouse v. Thompson, 228 Ill. 522, 533-34, 81 N.E. 1109, (1907).

The State counters that the provisions of Public Act 88-680 are reasonably related to its purpose - neighborhood safety. More specifically, the State argues that neighborhood safety necessarily and naturally encompasses adult crimes and juvenile offenses and increased penalties and sentencing options because many gang and gun-related crimes involve both adults and juveniles. The State further argues that the amendments to the WIC Vendor Management Act and the creation of article 17B of the Criminal Code concerning WIC fraud are germane to the issue of safe neighborhoods because such fraud is "pervasive," ...


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