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People v. Ingram

April 7, 2005

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CRAIG INGRAM, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County. No. 02-CF-1309. Honorable Ann Callis, Judge, presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Goldenhersh

After a stipulated bench trial in the circuit court of Madison County, Craig Ingram, the defendant, was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault. On appeal, the issue is whether the defendant's statutory right to a speedy trial, set forth in the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (the Code) (725 ILCS 5/103-5(a) (West 2002)), was violated. We affirm.

[9]     FACTS

The defendant was indicted on May 30, 2002, on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and was taken into custody on August 31, 2002. On September 3, 2002, at the defendant's initial appearance before the court, a public defender was appointed. On September 5, 2002, the defendant filed a motion for a speedy trial.

The defendant was arraigned on September 13, 2002, and pled not guilty. A computer-generated docket sheet issued by the circuit clerk's office indicated that an initial trial date had been set for October 15, 2002. On October 10, 2002, the State moved to compel the defendant to provide hair and blood samples, and the court ruled, on the same day, in the State's favor. The record contains a notice of supplemental discovery compliance by the State, dated October 11, 2002. The next document in the record is another notice of supplemental discovery compliance by the State, dated January 24, 2003.

On February 28, 2003, the defendant filed a motion for his discharge for a violation of his right to a speedy trial as provided in the Code. A hearing on that motion was held on March 23, 2003, after which the trial court denied the motion.

On March 3, 2003, the court entered an order indicating that the trial date had been continued by the agreement of the parties. Subsequently, the court entered several orders operating in sequence to continue the trial date by the agreement of the parties.

On July 24, 2003, the matter proceeded to a stipulated bench trial, preserving the speedy-trial issue for review. The State agreed to the dismissal of the second count pursuant to negotiations. The court found the defendant guilty of count I and dismissed count II. The defendant filed a posttrial motion raising the speedy-trial issue. On December 22, 2003, the defendant was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment. The court denied the defendant's posttrial motions. The defendant timely appeals.

ANALYSIS

At issue is who is responsible for the period of delay following the initial trial date of October 15, 2002. We find that the defendant is accountable for this delay under the Code.

In Illinois, a defendant has both a constitutional right and a statutory right to a speedy trial. U.S. Const., amends. VI, XIV; Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, §8; 725 ILCS 5/103-5(a) (West 2002); see People v. Campa, 353 Ill. App. 3d 178, 181, 818 N.E.2d 787, 790 (2004). Generally, the protections of a speedy trial provided in the Code can be seen as a bright-line standard preventing abuses of the constitutional right. Campa, 353 Ill. App. 3d at 181, 818 N.E.2d at 790. Because the Code enforces the constitutional right to a speedy trial, protections should be liberally construed in favor of the defendant. People v. Colson, 339 Ill. App. 3d 1039, 1047, 791 N.E.2d 650, 656 (2003).

The Code operates to prevent the constitutional speedy-trial issue from arising in a case. People v. Stuckey, 34 Ill. 2d 521, 523, 216 N.E.2d 785, 786 (1966). It implements the constitutional right to a speedy trial, but the statutory right and the constitutional right are not coextensive. People v. Gooden, 189 Ill. 2d 209, 217, 725 N.E.2d 1248, 1252 (2000). "The evil intended to be prevented by the speedy trial provision is wrongful incarceration rather than wrongful accusation as it is based upon the right of the individual to liberty." People v. Garcia, 65 Ill. App. 3d 472, 475, 382 N.E.2d 371, 374 (1978) (citing People v. Kidd, 357 Ill. 133, 136, 191 N.E. 244, 246 (1934)). The purpose of the 120-day threshold is to guarantee a speedy trial and not " 'to open a new procedural loophole which defense counsel could unconscionably use to obstruct the ends of justice.' " Gooden, 189 Ill. 2d at 221, 725 N.E.2d at 1254 (quoting People v. George, 71 Ill. App. 3d 932, 934, 390 N.E.2d 586, 587 (1979)).

Prior to January 1, 1999, the Code provided as follows:

"(a) 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, by an examination for fitness ordered pursuant to Section 104-13 of this Act, by a fitness hearing, by an adjudication of unfitness to stand trial, by a continuance allowed pursuant to Section 114-4 of this Act after a court's ...


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