United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VIRGINIA M. KENDALL JUDGE
Harold Powell, an Illinois state inmate, brings this Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
(Dkt. 1). Powell is currently in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Human Services at the Treatment and Detention
Facility in Rushville, Illinois and asks this Court to grant
the petition and order his immediate release on eight
grounds. For the reasons detailed within, Powell's
petition is denied for stating claims not cognizable under
Powell was convicted of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
and Aggravated Kidnapping in 1987. (Dkt. 1, at ¶ 5).
Powell was originally sentenced to a term of natural life,
but on appeal his sentence was vacated and remanded for
resentencing. (Id. at ¶ 6). He was ultimately
sentenced to a term of 30 years for the sexual assault and
fifteen years for the kidnapping, with the sentences running
concurrently. (Id.) The Illinois Department of
Corrections calculated Powell's Projected Mandatory
Supervised Release (“MSR”) date as September 30,
2000 and Powell's complete discharge from his sentence to
be September 30, 2003. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-8).
September 25, 2000, five days before Powell's MSR date,
the State of Illinois, in conjunction with the Cook County
State's Attorney, filed a Petition to Commit Harold
Powell as a sexually violent person under the Sexually
Violent Persons Commitment Act (“the Act”). (Dkt.
1, at ¶¶ 9, 35). After a hearing on October 25,
2000, the court found there was probable cause that Powell
was subject to commitment under the Act. (Dkt. 17-1, In
re Det. Powell, 2016 ILL App (1st) 130795-U).
Powell's attorney had stipulated to the probable cause
finding. (Dkt. 1, at ¶ 34). Subsequently, Powell moved
to dismiss the petition arguing that it was not timely filed
under the deadlines outlined in the Act. Ultimately, the
Illinois Supreme Court found the petition was timely as any
delay was the result of Powell's refusal to sign his MSR.
In re Det. of Powell, 217 Ill.2d 123, 142-43 (2005).
civil commitment trial began on March 1, 2011 and a mistrial
was declared after the jury was unable to agree on a verdict.
See In re Det. of Powell, No. 00 CR 80003 (Ill. Cir.
Ct. March 8, 2011). Powell again moved to dismiss
the petition under the premise that the Act required
dismissal upon a hung jury, but the trial court denied this
motion. See In re Det. of Powell, No. 00 CR 80003
(Ill. Cir. Ct. March 15, 2011). Approximately one year later,
Powell sought leave from the Illinois Supreme Court for leave
to file a complaint for an order of mandamus directing the
trial court to dismiss the petition. This motion was denied
on April 16, 2012. See Powell v. Porter, No. 114024
proceeded to file a Motion for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 along with a Motion to Stay
the State Court Proceedings in the Sexually Violent Persons
Petition. Powell's § 2241 petition, based largely on
identical claims as the present Petition, was dismissed
without prejudice due to this Court's jurisdictional
restrictions related to concurrent state court proceedings.
Powell v. Saddler, 2012 WL 3880198, at *7 (N.D. Ill.
Sept. 6, 2012).
State began its second trial of Powell under the Act on
September 18, 2012. See In re Det. Powell, 2016 IL
App (1st) 130795-U, at ¶8. The jury returned a verdict
in favor of commitment and the court issued an order
committing Powell to the custody of the Illinois Department
of Human Services. Id. at ¶14. Powell
then appealed the verdict to the Illinois Appellate Court
which affirmed the verdict and trial court order.
Id. at ¶ 162. Powell's petition
for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Illinois was
denied. (Dkt. 17-1, PLA and Order, In re Det.
Powell, No. 120794).
timely filed the instant Petition on July 20, 2017, and seeks
his immediate release on the following eight grounds:
1) The petition to civilly commit Powell was not timely
2) Powell never received a probable cause hearing as required
by the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.
3) Ex post facto principles prevented the
application of the 2001 amendments of the Act to Powell's
4) The delay in going to trial violated both the United
States and Illinois Constitutions.
5) Principles of double jeopardy prevented the re-trial of
Powell after the jury failed to ...