Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Clayton Jay Crane and Michael B. Bolan, Judges Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice South
This appeal arises from a dismissal of a petition for post-conviction relief.
Subsequent to a bench trial, petitioner, Jabari Brown, was convicted of one count of first degree murder involving a drive-by shooting and sentenced to 45 years in the Illinois Department Corrections. The conviction and sentence were affirmed by this court in an unpublished order on April 20, 2000. People v. Brown, No. 1-98-4501 (2000) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). Petitioner then filed a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, which was denied on October 4, 2000.
On April 4, 2002, petitioner, pro se, filed a petition for post-conviction relief pursuant to section 122-1 of the Post-Conviction Act (Act) (725 ILCS 5/122-1 et seq. (West 2000), a motion to sue or defend as a poor person and a motion for appointment of counsel.
The petition for post-conviction relief alleged:
"(A) Counsel was ineffective for their failure to object to prior consistent statements elicited by the prosecution;
(B) Counsel was ineffective for their failure to object to gang-related evidence;
(C) Counsel was ineffective for their failure to object to evidence of threats;
(D) Counsel was ineffective for their failure to call several defense witnesses;
(E) Counsel was ineffective for their failure to perfect impeachment;
(F) Counsel was ineffective for not allowing the petitioner to testify; and
(G) Counsel was ineffective for their failure to object to prior consistent identification."
Additionally, the petition alleged that petitioner was denied a fair trial due to the admission of hearsay testimony, the knowing use of perjured testimony, the introduction of "improper and irrelevant" evidence and a denial of the sixth amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel on direct appeal.
The petition requested that petitioner be permitted to file his "Memorandum of Law and Finding of Facts" in support of his claims by no later than April 14, 2001. Attached to the petition was petitioner's affidavit wherein he acknowledged that the deadline for filing the petition was April 4, 2001, and that a paralegal by the name of Frederick Lambert was working on his "Memorandum of Law and Finding of Facts" and hoped to be finished with it on or before April 14, 2001. Also attached to the petition was Lambert's affidavit stating that he was assisting petitioner in the preparation of the petition but that, due to his crowded calendar, he was unable to prepare a "Memorandum of Law and Finding of Facts" and would file one by no later than April 14, 2001. In other words, the petition was filed for the purpose of meeting the statute of limitations deadline and to preserve petitioner's rights under the Act.
On April 27, 2001, petitioner filed an "Amended Post Conviction Petition/Memorandum of Law and Findings of Facts/ Affidavits." Attached to the petition was his affidavit acknowledging that he had filed a post-conviction petition on March ...