from the Circuit Court of McLean County, No. 11-CF-1081; the
Hon. Scott Daniel Drazewski, Judge, presiding.
Michael J. Pelletier, Ellen J. Curry, and Lawrence J.
O'Neill, of State Appellate Defender's Office, for
J. Robinson and Kathy A. Shepard, of State's Attorneys
Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of Springfield, for the
JUSTICE HOLDER WHITE delivered the judgment of the court,
with opinion. Justices Steigmann and Knecht concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 In November 2014, defendant, Marcus Darnell Palmer, filed a
pro se postconviction petition, arguing, in relevant
part, that he received ineffective assistance of counsel when
defense counsel denied him his constitutional right to
testify at trial. The following month, the trial court
summarily dismissed the petition as frivolous and patently
2 Defendant appeals, asserting his postconviction petition
stated the gist of a constitutional claim sufficient to
overcome a first-stage dismissal. Finding defendant's
claims are positively rebutted by the record, we affirm.
3 I. BACKGROUND
4 A. The Indictment
5 In December 2011, a grand jury indicted defendant on the
following charges: (1) unlawful delivery of a controlled
substance within 1000 feet of a church (720 ILCS
570/407(b)(2) (West 2010)) (count I), (2) delivery of a
controlled substance within 1000 feet of public housing
property (id.) (count II), (3) unlawful delivery of
a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/401(d)(i) (West 2010))
(count III), (4) unlawful delivery of a controlled substance
of more than one gram within 1000 feet of a church (720 ILCS
570/407(b)(1) (West 2010)) (count IV), (5) delivery of a
controlled substance of over one gram within 1000 feet of
public housing property (id.) (count V), and (6)
unlawful delivery of a controlled substance of more than one
gram (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2) (West 2010)) (count VI).
6 B. The Jury Trial
7 In July 2012, defendant's case proceeded to trial. At
the conclusion of the first day of trial, the trial court
admonished defendant regarding his right to testify, stating
defendant should discuss his options with defense counsel,
but "ultimately, it's your decision to make as to
whether you testify or not."
8 The next day, after the State rested, the following
"THE COURT: With the State having rested its case in
chief, and the court having denied the defendant's motion
for a directed verdict, do you [defense counsel] need some
time to confer with [defendant] as to what, if any, evidence
the defense would be presenting ***? That would include