Appeal from Circuit Macon County Court of No. 05CF486 Honorable Lisa Holder White, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann
JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Pope and McCullough concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 In February 2006, a jury convicted defendant, Stephen G. Goodwin, of (1) escape (720 ILCS 5/31-6(c) (West 2004)), possession of a converted vehicle (625 ILCS 5/4-103(a)(1) (West 2004)), (3) aggravated kidnaping (720 ILCS 5/10-2(a)(2) (West 2004)), (4) aggravated possession of a converted vehicle (625 ILCS 5/4-103.2(a)(7)(A) (West 2004)), and (5) aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer (625 ILCS 5/11-204.1(a) (West 2004)).
¶ 2 In March 2006, the trial court sentenced defendant to serve concurrent prison sentences of 7 years for escape, 30 years for aggravated kidnaping, 15 years for aggravated possession of a converted motor vehicle, and 3 years for aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.
¶ 3 In March 2010, defendant filed an amended petition for post-conviction relief, alleging, in pertinent part, ineffective assistance of trial counsel in that his counsel failed to preserve the claim that the State used peremptory challenges to dismiss prospective jurors based solely on their race. In April 2010, the State filed a motion to dismiss defendant's amended post-conviction petition, which the trial court later granted.
¶ 4 Defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by dismissing his amended petition for post-conviction relief because he made a substantial showing of a constitutional violation. We disagree and affirm.
¶ 6 A. The Circumstances Surrounding the State's Charges
¶ 7 In April 2005, the State charged defendant with several crimes, alleging that earlier that month, defendant fled on foot from a police officer's attempt to effect a warrant for his arrest. As defendant ran from the police, he saw a van parked in a driveway that was unattended. The van's owner was standing in the driveway, watching the action of the police. Defendant entered the van and began to drive away. The owner attempted unsuccessfully to stop defendant, yelling that his 11-month-old daughter was in the back of the van strapped to her car seat. After a brief chase, the police arrested defendant, alleging further that he (1) knowingly confined the minor against her will and (2) refused to comply with their repeated commands to stop.
¶ 8 In June 2005, the State filed the following amended charges against defendant: (1) escape (720 ILCS 5/31-6(c) (West 2004)), (2) possession of a converted vehicle (625 ILCS 5/4-103(a)(1) (West 2004)), (3) burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-1(a) (West 2004)), (4) aggravated kidnaping (720 ILCS 5/10-2(a)(2) (West 2004)), (5) aggravated possession of a converted vehicle (625 ILCS 5/4-103.2(a)(7)(A) (West 2004)), and (6) aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer (625 ILCS 5/11-204.1(a) (West 2004)). (Prior to defendant's trial, the trial court granted the State's request to dismiss the burglary charge.)
¶ 10 In February 2006, the trial court conducted voir dire proceedings in which the court, the State, and defendant's counsel asked veniremembers standard questions about their respective backgrounds and beliefs. During that examination, the State used peremptory challenges to dismiss the following five jurors.
¶ 12 Jones, who was employed as a cook for 22 years, stated that her son was in jail pending criminal charges, which originated from his attempt to flee the police in a car he was driving without a license. The police claimed that Jones' son attacked them during his apprehension. Jones noted that (1) her son's involvement with the police occurred three weeks earlier, (2) her son had previously served a prison sentence on unrelated charges, and (3) she knew several people with the last name Goodwin but did not know if they were related to defendant. Jones ...