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The People of the State of Illinois Ex Rel. Mark Senko v. Honorable F. Michael Meersman et al

November 29, 2012

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS EX REL. MARK SENKO, PETITIONER,
v.
HONORABLE F. MICHAEL MEERSMAN ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Burke

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

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

OPINION

¶ 1 The petitioner, Mark Senko, State's Attorney of Rock Island

County, seeks a writ of mandamus (see Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, § 4(a)) to compel respondent, the Honorable F. Michael Meersman, judge of the circuit court of Rock Island County, to sentence defendant, Adrian Morrison, in accordance with section 5-8-4(d)(2) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code) (730 ILCS 5/5-8-4(d)(2) (West 2010)). Petitioner argues that respondent improperly imposed concurrent sentences when consecutive sentences are mandated by the statute. For the following reasons, we award the writ.

¶ 2 BACKGROUND

¶ 3 In December 2010, Adrian Morrison pled guilty to failing to register as a sex offender as required by section 3 of the Sex Offender Registration Act (730 ILCS 150/3(a) (West 2010)). He was sentenced to a six-month term of conditional discharge. In February 2011, Morrison was charged with unlawful failure to register a change of address in violation of section 6 of the Sex Offender Registration Act (730 ILCS 150/6 (West 2010)). In March 2011, Morrison was charged with three counts of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. As a result of these new charges, the State filed a petition to revoke or modify the earlier sentence of conditional discharge.

¶ 4 In August 2011, at a hearing before respondent, Morrison pled guilty to unlawful failure to register a change of address and admitted the allegations in the petition to revoke conditional discharge. Sentencing for these convictions was continued, pending trial on the sexual assault and sexual abuse charges, which were before another judge.

¶ 5 In November 2011, pursuant to a plea agreement, Morrison pled guilty to one count of criminal sexual assault and was sentenced on January 27, 2012, to 12 years' imprisonment for that offense.

¶ 6 On January 30, 2012, respondent sentenced Morrison for his earlier convictions to concurrent sentences of three years and two years, to be served concurrently with the 12-year sentence imposed on the sexual assault conviction. The State objected, arguing that section 5-8-4(d)(2) of the Code mandates that Morrison's sentences be served consecutively to the 12-year sentence, which should be served first. Respondent disagreed, stating that the sentences need not run consecutively because the registration crimes did not arise "out of the same set of facts" or "same course of conduct" as the criminal sexual assault.

¶ 7 Thereafter, the circuit court denied the States's motion for reconsideration. We granted the State leave to file a petition for a writ of mandamus.

¶ 8 ANALYSIS

¶ 9 Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy used to compel a public officer to perform non-discretionary official duties. People ex rel. Birkett v. Konetski, 233 Ill. 2d 185, 192-93 (2009). We will award mandamus only if the petitioner establishes a clear right to the relief requested, a clear duty of the public officer to act, and clear authority of the public officer to comply with the writ. Id.

ΒΆ 10 The State argues that mandamus is appropriate in this case pursuant to section 5-8-4(d)(2) of the ...


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