from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit,
Whiteside County, Illinois. Circuit No. 07-CF-188, Honorable
Trish A. Joyce, Judge, Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd, Peter A. Carusona,
Nathaniel A. Nieman, of State Appellate Defender's
Office, of Ottawa, for appellant.
Attorneys for Appellee: Terry A. Costello, State's
Attorney, of Morrison (Patrick Delfino and Thomas D. Arado,
of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office,
of counsel), for the People.
SCHMIDT PRESIDING JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the
court, with opinion. Justices Carter and Lytton concurred in
the judgment and opinion.
SCHMIDT PRESIDING JUSTICE.
1 Defendant, James R. Todd, appeals from the Whiteside County
circuit court's summary dismissal of his pro se
postconviction petition. Defendant argues that the court
erred in dismissing his petition because it presented an
arguable claim of ineffective assistance of appellate
counsel. We affirm.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 On February 25, 2008, defendant entered an open guilty plea
to one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance
(720 ILCS 570/401(a)(2)(A) (West 2006)). The factual basis
for the plea reported that an undercover officer purchased an
ounce of cocaine from defendant for $1000. The court accepted
defendant's guilty plea and released defendant on bond.
4 Before the sentencing hearing, the State prepared a
presentence investigation report (PSI). The criminal history
section of the PSI stated that defendant had five prior
5 On May 27, 2010, defendant appeared with counsel for the
sentencing hearing. Before the court pronounced
defendant's sentence, the court found, in aggravation,
that (1) defendant had a significant history of criminal
activity and (2) a prison sentence was necessary to deter
others from committing the same crime. The court further
"The other factor that I simply can't ignore is the,
is the, frankly the significant amount of cocaine that was
sold here, and I'm not going to ignore it. That, that
tells me that this is something more than just a casual, a
casual deal, and especially in light of the history, and you
can read into that whatever you feel you need to read into
it." The court sentenced defendant to 25 years'
6 On direct appeal, private attorney Demitrus Evans filed a
brief on behalf of defendant. Counsel raised four issues: (1)
defendant received ineffective assistance of trial counsel
where counsel led him to believe that his plea agreement
included a 10-year sentencing cap, (2) defendant's guilty
plea was not knowingly or voluntarily entered, (3) defendant
was denied the benefit of the bargain that he made with the
State, and (4) the court violated defendant's right to
due process when it denied his motion to vacate a directed
finding. People v. Todd, 2012 IL App (3d) 110624-U,
¶ 2. We affirmed defendant's conviction and
sentence. Id. ¶ 26.
7 On December 19, 2016, defendant filed a pro se
postconviction petition. The petition alleged four claims:
(1) posttrial counsel provided ineffective assistance, (2)
appellate counsel was ineffective, (3) the court violated
defendant's right to due process, and (4) the court
deprived defendant of his right to due process when it
considered the amount of cocaine as an aggravating factor at
sentencing. The court found the claims in defendant's
petition to be frivolous ...