The opinion of the court was delivered by: ELAINE E. BUCKLO, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
On May 6, 1996, Tyrone Hood was convicted in the Circuit Court of
Cook County of first degree murder and armed robbery. He was sentenced to
serve consecutive prison terms of 50 years for the murder conviction and
25 years for the armed robbery conviction. On April 22, 2003, Mr. Hood
filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, presenting six issues. I
held that one issue was procedurally defaulted and that four others did
not present a basis for relief. I ordered the parties to produce
documents relating to Mr. Hood's final issue, and now address that issue.
Mr. Hood argues that his Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights
were violated when consecutive sentences were imposed in violation of the
rule announced in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000).
Respondent originally argued that this issue was procedurally defaulted.
However, the issue was presented to the Illinois Supreme Court and thus
was preserved for evaluation on the merits. See, e.g., O'Sullivan v.
526 U.S. 838, 841-42 (1999); White v. Godinez, 192 F.3d 607
(7th Cir. 1999).
Mr. Hood argues that the consecutive nature of his sentences violates
the rule established in Apprendi, which holds that the jury must
"determine all facts (other than a prior conviction) that would raise a
sentence above its statutory maximum," United States v. Noble,
299 F.3d 907, 909 (7th Cir. 2002). So long as none of the individual
sentences exceed the statutory maximum, the imposition of consecutive
sentences does not implicate Apprendi, Id. The Illinois Supreme
Court has specifically held that "Apprendi concerns are not implicated by
consecutive sentencing," People v. Wagener, 196 Ill.2d 269, 286
(2001), stating that settled Illinois law stated that "sentences which
run consecutively to each other are not transmuted thereby into a single
sentence." Id, Further, Seventh Circuit law holds that the rule
announced in Apprendi is not retroactive on collateral review.
Curtis v. United States, 294 F.3d 841, 842 (7th Cir. 2002). The
rule, announced in 2000, cannot therefore apply to Mr. Hood's 1996
conviction and sentencing. Mr. Hood's claim fails on the merits and his
petition for a writ of habeas corpus is denied.
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