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United States of America Ex Rel. v. Keith Anglin

December 16, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL. URIEL WOOLFOLK, PETITIONER,
v.
KEITH ANGLIN, WARDEN RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Petitioner Uriel C. Woolfolk was sentenced to prison pursuant to negotiated plea agreements in the circuit courts of DuPage and Cook Counties. He petitions this court, under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, for a writ of habeas corpus, asserting that his trial counsel provided him ineffective assistance and that he has not received the benefit of the bargain of his DuPage County plea agreement in violation of his due process rights. For the reasons stated below, the petition is denied.

BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 24, 2004, while in federal custody for other convictions, Petitioner entered into a negotiated plea agreement in two cases in the circuit court of DuPage County. (Apr. 25, 2008 Summary Order, Ex. C to Resp't's Answer, at 1-2.) In exchange for an entry of nolle prosequi on additional counts, Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful use of a credit card in violation of 720 ILCS 250/8(ii) in case number 01-CF-2014. He also pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful use of a credit card in violation of 720 ILCS 250/8(ii) and one count of aggravated possession of a stolen vehicle in violation of 625 ILCS 5/4-103.2(a)(3) in case number 01-CF-2080. (Id.; Br. and Arg. for Def.-Appellant, Ex. A to Resp't's Answer, at 4-5.) The court sentenced Petitioner to prison terms of three years, three years, and six years, respectively, all to run concurrent to each other and to the federal sentence Petitioner was already serving. (Jun. 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order, Ex. H to Resp't's Answer, at 2.) Petitioner received 543 days of credit for time he had served in jail. (Apr. 25, 2008 Summary Order at 1-2.) Petitioner was also ordered to pay penalties for the Driver's Education Fund and Court Sentence Monitoring Program. (Id.)

Six days later, on August 30, 2004, Petitioner entered into another negotiated plea agreement, this time in the Cook County Circuit Court in case number 02-CR-2562701. (Jun. 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 2.) Pursuant to this agreement, Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of criminal drug conspiracy in violation of 720 ILCS 570/405.1(a) and was sentenced to a prison term of twelve years. (Id.) The Cook County court order stated that Petitioner was to receive 597 days of jail credit. (Id.) The court also ordered Petitioner to serve his Cook County sentence consecutively to the DuPage County sentences. (Id.) The Cook County sentence, like the DuPage County sentence, was to run concurrently with the fifty-month federal sentence imposed on Petitioner in 2003. (Id.)

In December 2004, while incarcerated*fn1 , Petitioner received a copy of his sentence calculation worksheet from the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"). The IDOC worksheet showed Petitioner's DuPage and Cook County sentences had been aggregated, pursuant to 730 ILCS 5/5-8-4, to a single sentence of eighteen years in prison, with 597 days of jail credit. (June 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 2.) This aggregated sentence was contrary to Petitioner's expectations in two respects. First, Petitioner believed his DuPage and Cook County sentences would each run concurrently to one another and to the fifty-month federal sentence he was already serving. (Id. at 11.) By that rationale, Petitioner contends, assuming he received credit for good behavior, by the time his federal sentence ended, he would have fully served his DuPage County sentence and would have only a small portion of the Cook County sentence remaining to be served.

The second way in which the IDOC worksheet disappointed Petitioner related to jail credit. Petitioner believed he would receive both 543 days of jail credit from the DuPage County sentence and an additional 597 days of jail credit from the Cook County sentence, but the IDOC worksheet showed only jail credit only against the Cook County sentence. (June 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 2.) In an affidavit, Petitioner's trial counsel stated:

I explained to [Petitioner] that the sentence in [DuPage], as well as the sentence that he was to receive in Cook County . . . would run concurrently to his previously imposed [f]ederal sentence, with Cook consecutive to DuPage. I further explained to [Petitioner] that the DuPage portion of his sentence would probably expire prior to his release from federal custody, that he would have a Cook County sentence unexpired and that remaining time would still need to be served after the DuPage sentence. Lastly, I explained to [Petitioner] that 543 days of jail credit would be given to him on the DuPage County pleas and would be separate from the jail credit that he was to receive in Cook County, if any Cook County additional [credit] was provided and if accepted by the IDOC. (Id. at 9-10.)

Upon receiving the IDOC sentence calculation worksheet, Petitioner contacted his attorney and expressed his dismay about the calculation, but counsel advised him that the time for appeal from his sentence had elapsed. (June 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 2-3.) Nevertheless, beginning in March 2005, Petitioner began communicating with the DuPage County trial court regarding the calculation of his sentence. (Id. at 3.) These communications had some effect; on January 23, 2006, and again on January 25, 2007, the DuPage County trial court sent orders to IDOC directing that Petitioner receive 543 days of jail credit in addition to the 597 days ordered by the Cook County court. (Id.) IDOC has declined to amend the sentence calculation, however. IDOC takes the position that where consecutive sentences are imposed, only a single jail credit is appropriate.*fn2

(Supp. Br. and Arg. for Def.-Appellant, Ex. G to Resp't's Answer, at 19-20.)

On August 21, 2006, Petitioner filed a pro se petition in the Circuit Court of DuPage County, asking that his sentence be discharged or reduced. (June 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 3.) The trial court appointed counsel for Petitioner and heard arguments on the petition on September 12, 2006. (Id.) Petitioner addressed the court at that time, explaining that his decision to enter the plea agreement in DuPage County was founded on his trial counsel's advice that Petitioner would have only eighteen months remaining on his Illinois sentences at the time he was to be released from federal custody. (Id.; Supp. Br. and Arg. for Def.-Appellant at A27-28.) Petitioner also maintained that, had he understood that his Cook County sentence would run consecutively to his DuPage County sentence and that he would not receive the jail credit awarded by both counties, he would not have pleaded guilty. (June 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 8-9.) Although the Cook County plea was independent of and subsequent to Petitioner's DuPage County plea, by the time he entered into the plea agreement in DuPage County, Petitioner had already negotiated his Cook County plea and considered the combined effect of the two agreements. (Id. at 9.) In support of his August 21, 2006 petition, Petitioner observed that IDOC had refused to adjust his sentence calculation even after the DuPage County trial court issued an order amending Petitioner's sentence to include the 543 days of jail credit. (Supp. Br. and Arg. for Def.-Appellant at A14-15.) He urged the court to issue an order declaring his DuPage sentence served in full. (Id. at A16.) The Du Page County Circuit Court denied Petitioner's request and suggested that he raise the question of jail credit with the Cook County Circuit Court. (Id. at A25-26, A28.)

Petitioner appealed the DuPage County order through counsel. Because the appeal was from denial of a petition challenging the sentence, which is a final judgment in a criminal case, the appellate court characterized this as a direct appeal. (June 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 6.) In their briefs on appeal, both Petitioner and the state ignored arguments relating to the discharge of Petitioner's sentence and his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Instead, the parties focused only on the issue of certain fines that had been imposed with the sentences. (See Br. and Arg. for Def.-Appellant, Ex. A to Resp't's Answer; Br. and Arg. for Pl.-Appellee, Ex. B to Resp't's Answer.) On April 25, 2008, the appellate court vacated the fines, but otherwise affirmed the judgment. (Apr. 25, 2008 Summary Order at 4-5.) Petitioner did not file a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court at that time. (Resp't's Answer at 3-4.)

In the meantime, on July 31, 2007, Petitioner's attorney filed a motion to amend the mittimus by granting credit toward his DuPage sentence for the time Petitioner served in federal prison. (June 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 3.) But on November 6, 2007, Petitioner's counsel withdrew, declining to explain the reasons for his withdrawal. (Nov. 6, 2007 Tr. in State Ct. R., Ex. K(3) to Resp't's Answer, at 217.) Shortly thereafter, Petitioner obtained substitute counsel. (Nov. 20, 2007 Tr. in State Ct. R., Ex. K(3) to Resp't's Answer, at 231.) On January 16, 2008, per the new attorney's request, the court agreed to treat the July 31, 2007 motion as filed under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act, 725 ILCS 5/122-1 et seq., and granted leave to amend that motion. (June 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 3.) In his amended post-conviction petition, filed on February 28, 2008, Petitioner argued that (1) entry of the DuPage County plea, without Petitioner's knowledge of the combined effect of the DuPage and Cook County pleas, constituted a violation of his due process rights and (2) he received ineffective assistance of counsel when his trial attorney misinformed him of the aggregated effect of the two pleas. (Id. at 3-4.) The trial court dismissed the petition without an evidentiary hearing on June 10, 2008, and then denied Petitioner's motion to reconsider on July 8, 2008. (Id. at 4.)

Petitioner timely appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court, arguing that his guilty plea was based on his lawyer's inaccurate advice that the DuPage plea agreement would result in a DuPage sentence that would expire prior to his release from federal custody, whereas a trial could result in a fifteen-year prison sentence. (Br. and Arg. for Def.-Appellant, Ex. D to Resp't's Answer, at 7.) The state argued, and the court agreed, that procedural default barred Petitioner's ineffective assistance argument because he did not raise that issue on direct appeal. (June 12, 2009 Rule 23 Order at 5.) Nevertheless, the court addressed the merits of the post-conviction petition "because they raise issues of constitutional dimension." (Id. at 7.) The court stated that, for Petitioner to succeed on his claim, he would have to "demonstrate both that his attorney's performance was objectively deficient and also that [he] was prejudiced by the deficient ...


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