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Gough v. Sullivan

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 17, 2019

RAY A. GOUGH, # R-00646, Petitioner,
v.
DANIEL Q. SULLIVAN, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          TACI M. YANDLE United States District Judge

         Petitioner Ray Gough is incarcerated at Big Muddy River Correctional Center as the result of a 2014 civil commitment proceeding in Ogle County Circuit Court under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (“SDPA”), 725 ILCS 205/0.01 et seq. Based on that court's finding that Gough is a sexually dangerous person, his confinement continues indefinitely until he is determined to no longer be dangerous. 725 ILCS 205/9. Gough's original civil commitment took place in 2000, but after Gough appealed, the matter was remanded for a new trial in March 2004. (Doc. 1, p. 5; Doc. 13, p. 1). The retrial did not take place until November 2014.

         Gough seeks habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on the grounds that a 10-year delay of his retrial in the SDPA proceeding violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

         Gough's Petition raises the following grounds, all related to his overarching speedy trial claim:

1. The trial judge unconstitutionally denied Gough the right to represent himself and improperly charged to Gough the 3-year delay while the issue was litigated. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
2. The trial and appellate courts improperly held that Gough's speedy trial right was not violated based on their finding that most of the 10-year delay was either caused by Gough or not attributable to the state, when the State's delays alone were enough to violate the Constitution. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
3. The appellate court improperly held that Gough's obstructionist conduct relating to his unwanted court-appointed attorney forfeited his right to represent himself, when the trial court made no such finding. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
4. The 7-month delay caused by the State's filing of an improper motion for a fitness hearing, shortly before a 2010 trial date, was sufficient to deny Gough's speedy trial right. (Doc. 1, p. 10).
5. Gough's speedy trial right was denied when the state legislature and/or executive branch amended the statute governing licensing of experts, which led the trial court to order new evaluations and delayed the trial for 214 days. (Doc. 1, p. 16).

         Respondent argues that Gough's speedy trial claim is not cognizable on federal habeas review and lacks merit. (Doc. 13). Gough filed a Reply (Doc. 23), and the Court granted in part his motion to expand the record with additional transcripts of the trial court proceedings. (Docs. 33, 34). For the reasons discussed below, Gough's § 2254 Petition will be DENIED.

         Relevant Facts and Procedural History [[1]]

         Trial Court Proceedings

         Following a jury trial in 2000, Gough was civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person by the Ogle County Circuit Court (Nos. 99-CF-207 and 99-CF-209). The Judgment was initially affirmed on appeal in 2002 (Doc. 13-2, pp. 1-3), but in 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court remanded the case to the appellate court for reconsideration in light of new precedent. On February 11, 2004, the appellate court concluded the first trial was faulty because the jury was not required to find that Gough's condition must affect his ability to control his sexual behavior. (Doc. 13-2, pp 44-45, 48-50). A new trial was ordered to be governed by the standards of proof announced in People v. Masterson, 798 N.E.2d 735, 207 Ill.2d 305 (2003).

         Gough filed a speedy trial demand on March 23, 2004 and renewed it on February 3, 2005. (Doc. 13-2, pp. 50-51, 53). His motion to dismiss the case on speedy trial grounds filed on June 13, 2011 was denied. (Doc. 13-2, p. 58). The trial court denied his second motion to dismiss the case for violation of his constitutional speedy trial rights on August 29, 2014, finding that Gough was responsible for the majority of the delays and his defense was not prejudiced. (Doc. 13-2, pp. 60-61). Gough's retrial took place in November 2014. ...


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