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In re C.C.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division

January 6, 2015

In re C.C., a Minor The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
C.C., a Minor, Respondent-Appellant

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. No. 12 JD 3853. Honorable Lori Wolfson, Judge Presiding.

SYLLABUS

Where respondent, a 14-year-old minor who was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of another minor was sentenced to imprisonment in the Department of Juvenile Justice until his twenty-first birthday and he also was given a mandatory minimum 45-year adult criminal sentence, which was stayed under the extended jurisdiction juvenile statute and will be vacated if he completes his juvenile sentence without any new offenses or violations of the juvenile sentence, the appellate court held that since the stay on respondent's adult criminal sentence has not been revoked, the State has not sought its revocation and the sentence may never be imposed, respondent lacks standing to challenge the severity of that sentence at this time and the judgment of the trial court was affirmed.

For APPELLANT: OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS STATE APPELLATE DEFENDER, Chicago, IL, Michael J. Pelletier, State Appellate Defender, Alan D. Goldberg, Deputy Appellate Defender, Heidi Linn Lambros, Assistant Appellate Defender.

For APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS STATE'S ATTORNEY, Chicago, IL, Anita Alvarez, State's Attorney, Alan J. Spellberg, Kathleen Warnick, Adam Meczyk, Assistant State's Attorneys.

JUSTICE ELLIS delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Howse and Epstein concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 1267

ELLIS, JUSTICE.

[¶1] Respondent C.C. was convicted of first-degree murder for the shooting death of 17-year-old Dejuan Jackson. Respondent was 14 years old at the time of the shooting. He was sentenced to imprisonment in the Department of Juvenile Justice until his twenty-first birthday and also given a mandatory minimum 45-year adult criminal sentence. Under the extended jurisdiction juvenile (EJJ) statute, the adult portion of his sentence is stayed, and if respondent completes his juvenile sentence without committing a new offense or violating the conditions of his juvenile sentence, that adult sentence will be vacated on completion of that juvenile sentence. 705 ILCS 405/5-810(6), (7) (West 2012).

[¶2] Respondent appeals, arguing that his 45-year mandatory minimum adult-stayed sentence violates both the eighth amendment of the United States Constitution and the proportional penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution.

[¶3] The preliminary and ultimately dispositive issue in this case is whether a minor-respondent sentenced under the EJJ statute, who receives a juvenile sentence plus a stayed adult criminal sentence, has standing to challenge the severity of his adult sentence when it has not yet been imposed and when the State has not petitioned for its imposition. On at least

Page 1268

two occasions, this court has expressed doubts about a minor-respondent's standing in this context, but in neither of those cases was the standing issue raised by the State. In this case, the State has challenged respondent's standing to assert his constitutional claims, presenting the issue squarely for our review.

[¶4] We hold that, because the stay on respondent's adult criminal sentence has not been revoked, the State has not sought its revocation, and the sentence may never be imposed, respondent lacks standing to challenge the severity of his sentence ...


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