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People v. Washington

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division

June 10, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MALVIN WASHINGTON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court Of Cook County. No. 04 CR 21005 The Honorable Ursula Walowski, Judge Presiding.

          WALKER, JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice Pierce and Justice Griffin concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          WALKER, JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 Defendant Malvin Washington was convicted in the Circuit Court of Cook County of the Class 1 felony of second degree murder and the Class X felony of aggravated battery with a firearm, and he was sentenced to consecutive terms of 15 years for the second degree murder and 10 years for the aggravated battery with a firearm. Following his sentencing, Malvin asked the trial court to award sentencing credit multiplied by a factor of 1.5 for time spent participating in qualified educational, vocational, and other programs while in the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC). He sought enhanced programming credit against his sentence for second degree murder pursuant to section 3-6-3 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code). 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3 (West 2016). The trial court denied the enhanced programming credit in reliance on People v. Duke, 305 Ill.App.3d 169 (1999) (holding that inmates serving consecutive sentences for a Class X felony and some other, non-Class X felony are ineligible for programming credit during the entire term of imprisonment). Malvin appeals from the trial court's order denying enhanced programming credit. We hold that section 3-6-3 does not prohibit awarding enhanced programming credit for the part of a consecutive sentence that punishes an inmate for a crime not specifically listed as cause for denying the enhanced programming credit. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's denial of Malvin's request for enhanced programming credit on his second degree murder conviction.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 On March 21, 2004, cars driven by Antonio Washington and Antoine Lee collided. People from the neighborhood converged on the accident scene. Antoine's uncle, Ronald Lee, physically confronted Antonio's cousin, Malvin. Malvin shot Ronald three times. A stray bullet killed Marquis Reed.

         ¶ 4 Prosecutors charged Malvin with the first degree murder of Reed and aggravated battery with a firearm for the injury to Ronald. At the trial, Malvin testified that he acted in self-defense, but a jury found Malvin guilty as charged. The appellate court ordered a new trial, and the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court's judgment. People v. Washington, 2012 IL 110283. Malvin remained incarcerated as the case worked its way through the appeals process to a new trial. He used his time productively, earning a high school equivalency diploma and accumulating more than 5000 hours in educational programs, much of it for tutoring other inmates. He also completed three classes at DePaul University.

         ¶ 5 On retrial, a jury found Malvin guilty of second degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Witnesses at the sentencing hearing spoke highly of Malvin's educational achievements while in the CCDOC programs. One CCDOC official testified that Malvin accomplished the rare feat of having no disciplinary infractions despite his long time in CCDOC. Another CCDOC official testified to the trust accorded to Malvin.

         ¶ 6 The trial judge imposed sentences of 10 years for aggravated battery and 15 years for second degree murder, with the sentences to run consecutively. Malvin asked the trial court to award credit against his sentence for programming days while in the custody of the CCDOC. The trial court, following Duke, 305 Ill.App.3d 169, held that Malvin was not entitled to any enhanced programming credit because he was convicted of a Class X felony. Malvin now appeals.

         ¶ 7 II. ANALYSIS

         ¶ 8 On appeal, Malvin argues the trial court erred when it denied his enhanced programming credit pursuant to the version of section 3-6-3 (730 ILCS 5/3-6-3 (West 2016)) in place at the time of his sentencing. Malvin does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions. We review de novo the issue of statutory interpretation. People v. Whitney, 188 Ill.2d 91, 98 (1999).

         ¶ 9 We note that the General Assembly amended section 3-6-3(a)(4) to extend enhanced programming credit to prisoners convicted of Class X felonies, but the General Assembly specifically limited the amount of credit available to prisoners already serving sentences when the amendment went into effect. The Code now provides, "sentence credit under paragraph *** (4) *** of this subsection (a) may be awarded to a prisoner who is serving a sentence for an offense described in paragraph (2), (2.3), (2.4), (2.5), or (2.6) for credit earned on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act." Pub. Act 100-3 (eff. Jan. 1, 2018) (amending 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(a)(4.7)). The Public Act sets its effective date as January 1, 2018. Malvin seeks enhanced programming credit for programs completed prior to the amendment. Thus, the amendment does not apply to the facts here.

         ¶ 10 Malvin does not seek any programming credit against his sentence as a Class X offender. Malvin argues, however, that he should be awarded enhanced programming credit against his second degree murder sentence.

         ¶ 11 Prior to the January 2018 amendment, section 3-6-3 of the Code restricted the amount of credit awarded to "a prisoner serving a sentence for *** aggravated battery with a firearm" to "no more than 4.5 days of sentence credit for each month of his or her sentence of imprisonment." 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(a)(2)(ii) (West 2016). Section 3-6-3(a)(2.1) provided that, "[f]or all offenses, other than those enumerated in subdivision (a)(2)(i), (ii), or (iii) *** the rules and regulations shall provide that a prisoner who is serving a term of imprisonment shall receive one day of sentence credit for each day of his or her sentence of imprisonment." 730 ILCS ...


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