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People v. Boykins

Supreme Court of Illinois

September 21, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Appellee,
v.
BYRON BOYKINS, Appellant.

          JUSTICE THEIS delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Karmeier and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Kilbride, Garman, and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          THEIS, JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 The issue presented in this appeal is whether the circuit court's plea admonishments regarding mandatory supervised release (MSR) were sufficient to satisfy the due process rights of defendant, Byron Boykins. Defendant filed a pro se postconviction petition in the circuit court of Cook County pursuant to the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (725 ILCS 5/122-1 et seq. (West 2014)), alleging that his due process rights were violated when the trial court failed to specifically admonish him that he would be required to serve a 3-year term of MSR after completing the 22-year prison sentence he negotiated in exchange for his plea. The circuit court summarily dismissed the petition. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal. 2016 IL App (1st) 142542-U. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the appellate court.

         ¶ 2 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 In 2007, defendant was charged by indictment with six counts of first degree murder and six counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (AUUW) (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6 (West 2006)). In March 2009, defendant entered into a negotiated plea in which he agreed to plead guilty to first degree murder in exchange for 22 years' imprisonment, the dismissal of the AUUW charges, and the dismissal of a separate pending charge for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Defendant was 20 years old at the time of the plea hearing. Prior to accepting the plea, the following exchange occurred:

"THE COURT: Mr. Boykins, you're charged with the offense of first degree murder. That event is alleged to have occurred on or about October the 16th of the year of 2006, in that you, without lawful justification, intentionally or knowingly killed-shot and killed Carlos Mathis, M-a-t-h-i-s.
In the State of Illinois that's referred to as-the sentencing for that case is from 20 to 40-20 to 60 years in the Illinois State penitentiary. If I find that you've been found guilty of the same or greater class felony in the last ten years, the maximum penitentiary time in this case would be life.
Upon your release from the penitentiary, there is a period of three years mandatory supervised release, sometimes referred to as parole.
Understanding the nature of the offense and its possible penalties, how do you plead to this matter; guilty or not guilty?
THE DEFENDANT: Guilty."
The trial court then confirmed that defendant was aware of the rights he would be giving up by entering a guilty plea and confirmed that he was entering the plea of his own free will. Additionally, the court reiterated the terms of the agreement that "in this particular situation, " defendant was agreeing to plead guilty in exchange for "a period of 22[ ]years in the Illinois Department of Corrections." Defendant indicated that he had no questions.

         ¶ 4 After finding that a factual basis existed for the plea, the court accepted the plea and ratified the agreement. Defendant waived his right to a presentence investigation report, but the court was informed that defendant had several juvenile adjudications, that he was 17 years old at the time of the occurrence, and that he had no prior adult arrests. The court then imposed a sentence of 22 years in prison. Defendant again indicated that he had no questions about the sentence. The trial court did not mention MSR during sentencing, and the sentencing order does not refer to MSR.

         ¶ 5 In April 2014, defendant filed a pro se postconviction petition alleging that his constitutional due process rights were substantially violated because he was not advised that he would be required to serve a 3-year term of MSR upon completion of the 22-year prison sentence that he negotiated in exchange for his plea. Consequently, defendant alleged that he did not receive the benefit of his bargain because the total time he would be required to serve would exceed the term specifically announced by the trial court. Defendant further asserted that he had not been aware of the MSR term until he heard other inmates discussing it. As a remedy, defendant requested that the trial court reduce his prison term by three years or, alternatively, remove his obligation to serve the MSR term.

         ¶ 6 The trial court summarily dismissed the petition, finding that the record contradicted defendant's allegations. The court concluded that the trial court sufficiently admonished defendant by advising him prior to imposing the sentence ...


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