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The People of the State of Illinois v. Earl Lee Marshall

May 19, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,
v.
EARL LEE MARSHALL,
APPELLANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Karmeier

JUSTICE KARMEIER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Chief Justice Kilbride and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Garman, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

The issue presented in this case is whether, under section 5--4--3 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code) (730 ILCS 5/5--4--3 (West 2008)), a trial court has the authority to order a defendant to submit a sample of his deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) for forensic analysis and indexing and to pay a $200 DNA analysis fee where that defendant has already submitted a DNA sample pursuant to a prior conviction and has paid a corresponding analysis fee. Defendant, Earl Lee Marshall, pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the circuit court of Peoria County. At sentencing, the trial court imposed a term of 33 years' imprisonment and specified that there "is the judgment for costs and mandatory assessments of DNA fee and testing." The written sentencing order directed defendant to pay a $200 DNA assessment fee. On direct appeal following denial of defendant's motion to reconsider sentence, defendant argued that the trial court lacked authority to order him to submit a DNA sample or pay the fee as his DNA was already on file. The appellate court found that defendant had forfeited this issue and that the trial court's order was not void because the order was authorized under section 5--4--3. 402 Ill. App. 3d 1080. We granted defendant's petition for leave to appeal. Ill. S. Ct. R. 315 (eff. Feb. 26, 2010).

BACKGROUND

After defendant was charged with first degree murder in June 2007, the State moved for an order directing defendant "to produce the buccal standard" for the purpose of DNA comparison analysis. At a hearing on that motion, the following exchange occurred:

"MR. GAST [Assistant State's Attorney]: Judge, we have a Motion for Samples. It's my understanding that the lab has found some blood samples that would be available for testing with the defendant's DNA, so therefore, we're asking pursuant to Supreme Court Rule for a sample to be taken from the defendant.

THE COURT: We'll hear from the defendant.

MR. TONER [Assistant Public Defender]: Judge, our understanding is that Mr. Marshall's DNA is already of record, so there would be no reason to take any further DNA.

THE COURT: Mr. Gast, any knowledge of that?

MR. GAST: I don't have any knowledge of that other than--is it a CODIS [Combined DNA Index System] sample?

MR. TONER: Yeah."

The State reiterated its request for a buccal sample from defendant, and the court granted the motion.

On January 17, 2008, the parties appeared in court and defendant's counsel announced that an agreement had been reached whereby defendant would plead guilty as charged, and would be sentenced to imprisonment for a term capped at 33 years. Defendant pleaded guilty, the court accepted the plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing. Thereafter, defendant filed a pro se motion to withdraw his guilty plea. At a hearing on the motion, the court heard testimony and argument before denying the motion.

The presentence investigation report (PSI) prepared for defendant noted, inter alia, that his DNA was "Registered." The PSI further detailed defendant's 2002 guilty plea to a felony traffic offense in Woodford County case No. 01--CF--65, his three-year sentence, and noted: "He was received at the Illinois Department of Corrections on January 9, 2002. He was paroled out on November 27, 2002. The defendant was returned to the Department of Corrections as a parole violator on August 28, 2003. He was discharged from parole on October 16, 2003." The PSI also reveals that on December 29, 2005, defendant pleaded guilty to a felony traffic offense in Tazewell County case No. 05--CF--264, and was sentenced to 24 months' probation and ordered to serve 180 days in the Tazewell County jail. His probation was terminated unsuccessfully on January 8, 2008. As stated, at defendant's June 23, 2008, sentencing hearing in this case, the court imposed a 33-year term of imprisonment and a mandatory assessment for DNA testing, which $200 fee was included in the written sentencing order entered by the court.

On June 24, 2008, defendant filed, through counsel, another motion to withdraw his guilty plea; a motion to reconsider sentence claiming the 33-year term of imprisonment was excessive; and an amended motion to reconsider sentence, reiterating that the sentence was excessive, but also arguing that the trial court had erred in refusing to admit evidence of the decedent's mental health history. Defendant later filed a pro se supplemental motion to withdraw the guilty plea wherein he claimed that he was not guilty and that he pleaded guilty due to his fear of the real killer. Following a hearing, the trial court denied ...


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