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People v. Penrod

October 06, 2000

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
V.
JOHN SCOTT PENROD,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jefferson County. No. 96-CF-334 Honorable Terry H. Gamber, Judge, presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Maag

John Scott Penrod (defendant) was convicted by a jury of residential burglary, a class 1 felony, and theft under $300, a class 4 felony by reason of his prior burglary conviction. Defendant was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 12 years on the residential burglary conviction and three years on the theft conviction. On appeal, defendant contends that he was denied his right to a speedy trial, that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel, and that the State failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

A detailed procedural history of this case follows. Those facts pertinent to a resolution of the remaining issues will be provided during a discussion of those points. On December 17, 1996, defendant was initially arrested and taken into custody on a warrant unrelated to this case. Later that day, defendant was charged with a residential burglary that occurred on December 17, 1996, and another burglary that occurred on December 7, 1996. At the time of his arrest, defendant was serving a period of mandatory supervised release under the supervision of the Illinois Department of Corrections for a prior felony offense.

On December 19, 1996, defendant appeared in court and was advised of the charges against him. During this appearance, the court appointed James Henson, an attorney from the public defender's office, to represent defendant. The court also set a bond and scheduled an arraignment and a preliminary hearing for January 8, 1997. On December 23, 1996, the grand jury indicted defendant on the residential burglary offense, thus obviating the need for a preliminary hearing. Following defendant's arraignment on January 8, 1997, the court set a final pretrial conference for February 26, 1997, and a jury trial for March 11, 1997.

On February 20, 1997, the Illinois Department of Corrections issued a parole-violation warrant based primarily on the new burglary charges, and defendant was returned to one of its corrections facilities.

On February 25, 1997, the State filed a motion to continue the jury trial because it had not received the results of forensic tests from the Illinois State Police crime lab. On February 26, 1997, the court granted the State's motion and reset the case for trial on March 25, 1997. On March 11, 1997, the State filed an answer to discovery, listing additional State's witnesses. On March 17, 1997, the State filed an additional count charging defendant with theft with a prior burglary conviction.

On March 25, 1997, attorney Henson informed the court that he was representing one of the witnesses whom the State identified in its March 11, 1997, disclosure and therefore had a conflict of interest. The court permitted Mr. Henson to withdraw and appointed another public defender, Jerry Crisel, to represent defendant. The court continued the trial to April 22, 1997, and set a pretrial conference for March 27, 1997, two days later. On the State's motion, the court released defendant from bond on the pending burglary and theft charges. Defendant remained in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections pending a hearing on the alleged violations of his mandatory supervised release.

On April 17, 1997, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the residential burglary and burglary charges, claiming that his right to a speedy trial had been violated because he had been in custody for more than 120 days and had not been brought to trial within that time. After a hearing on April 21, 1997, the court denied the motion to dismiss. Following the residential burglary and theft convictions, the State dismissed the remaining burglary charge.

In his first point, defendant argues that the trial court erred in failing to dismiss the charges because the State failed to try him within the time limits prescribed in section 103-5(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (725 ILCS 5/103-5(a) (West 1992)). The State argues that because defendant was in the custody of the Department of Corrections after March 11, 1997, the date the court released defendant from his bond, he was required to make a written demand for a speedy trial pursuant to the intrastate detainers statute (730 ILCS 5/3-8-10 (West 1992)) but that he failed to do so.

We note that the prosecution and the defense agree that defendant was taken into custody on December 17, 1996. Defendant concedes that he never made a demand for a speedy trial. Instead, he contends that section 103-5(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 applies to his case and that, according to this provision, the State was obligated to try the case within the time specified, without a demand by defendant. Section 103-5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 is commonly referred to as the speedy trial act. We must decide whether section 103-5(a) of the speedy trial act or the provisions of the intrastate detainers statute apply. Before answering the specific question, it is important to review the differences between the two statutes.

Though the subject matter of the intrastate detainers statute is the same as that of the speedy trial act, namely, a defendant's right to a speedy trial, the application of each statute depends upon the classification of the defendant. The intrastate detainers statute and the speedy trial act establish different time periods and demand requirements for differently situated defendants. People v. Staten, 159 Ill. 2d 419, 424, 639 N.E.2d 550, 553 (1994).

Section 103-5(a) of the speedy trial act provides, "Every person in custody in this State for an alleged offense shall be tried by the court having jurisdiction within 120 days from the date he was taken into custody unless delay is occasioned by the defendant ***." 725 ILCS 5/103-5(a) (West 1992). This provision requires the State to bring the defendant to trial on the alleged offenses within the time specified, without any demand from the defendant. Staten, 159 Ill. 2d at 424, 639 N.E.2d at 553. The legislature imposed this burden on the State because defendants who remain in custody before their trial, unlike those released on bail, suffer the loss of their liberty before they are adjudicated guilty of a crime. Staten, 159 Ill. 2d at 424, 639 N.E.2d at 553-54.

In contrast, subsection (b) of the speedy trial act requires a defendant who is on bail or released on his own recognizance to serve the State with a formal written demand for a speedy trial, before the clock begins to tick. 725 ILCS 5/103-5(b) (West 1992). Thus, the legislature protected a nondetained defendant's right to a speedy trial but shifted the burden and required the defendant to make the demand. Staten, 159 Ill. 2d at 424, 639 N.E.2d at 554.

The intrastate detainers statute (730 ILCS 5/3-8-10 (West 1992)) was enacted subsequent to the speedy trial act. The legislature specifically incorporated certain provisions of the speedy trial act into the intrastate detainers statute. 730 ILCS 5/3-8-10 (West 1992). The intrastate detainers statute provides that subsections (b), (c), and (e) of the speedy trial act also apply to persons who are committed to an institution or facility or program of the Illinois Department of Corrections and who have untried complaints, charges, or indictments pending in any county of this State. 730 ILCS 5/3-8-10 (West 1992); 725 ILCS 5/103-5(b),(c),(e) (West 1992). The intrastate detainers statute requires this class of defendants to comply with specific provisions of the statute, which include serving a written demand for a speedy trial to start the clock ticking. 730 ILCS 5/3-8-10 (West 1992).

In enacting this provision, the legislature acknowledged that a person committed to an institution, facility, or program of the Department of Corrections retained a right to a speedy trial on untried charges, but it recognized that the person's loss of liberty was not based solely upon untried charges but, rather, was based upon a prior conviction. Staten, 159 Ill. 2d at 428, 639 N.E.2d at 555. Thus, the legislature imposed the burden on defendants committed to the custody of the Department of ...


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