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People v. Johnson

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division

December 31, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
RECARDO JOHNSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 07 CR 17223 Honorable Alfredo Maldonado, Judge Presiding.

          Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd, Patricia Mysza, and Maggie A. Heim, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for appellant.

          Attorneys for Appellee: Kimberly M. Foxx, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg and Brian K. Hodes, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.

          PRESIDING JUSTICE MIKVA delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Cunningham and Harris concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          MIKVA PRESIDING JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 In this appeal, defendant Recardo Johnson argues that the circuit court erred in summarily dismissing his pro se petition for relief pursuant to the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (Act) (725 ILCS 5/122-1 (West 2016)) on the basis of standing. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 In October 2007, Mr. Johnson pleaded guilty in case No. 07 CR 17223 to the offense of unlawful restraint (see 720 ILCS 5/10-3 (West 2006)) in exchange for a sentence of two years' imprisonment. Before Mr. Johnson entered his plea, the court informed him:

"Mr. Johnson, you are charged with the offense of unlawful restraint ***. That in the State of Illinois is what is referred to as a Class 4 felony, which means it's punishable by 1 to 3 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary. If I find you have been found guilty of the same or greater class felony within the last ten years, the maximum penitentiary time in this case can increase all the way up to 6 years.
In addition, upon your release from the penitentiary there would be a period of 1 year mandatory supervised release. That's sometimes referred to as parole."

         ¶ 4 Upon entering his plea, Mr. Johnson said he understood he was giving up certain rights by pleading guilty, including his right to plead not guilty and have a jury trial. Mr. Johnson said he was not threatened or promised anything in exchange for his plea.

         ¶ 5 The State provided a factual basis for the plea, the circuit court found that Mr. Johnson pleaded guilty to the charge freely and voluntarily, and the court accepted the plea. The court then sentenced Mr. Johnson to two years in prison and admonished him of his right to a direct appeal. Mr. Johnson did not avail himself of that right.

         ¶ 6 On July 18, 2016, Mr. Johnson, pro se, moved the circuit court to file a late postconviction petition. In the petition, Mr. Johnson said that he was presently incarcerated, he had been incarcerated for approximately one year, and the lateness of his filing was not due to his culpable negligence. Mr. Johnson filed his petition under case No. 07 CR 1722301, the case in which he had pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint in October 2007. Mr. Johnson argued in his petition that the age of the victim in his case was never stated in court, the circuit court never informed him that he would need to register under the Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act (Violent Offender Act) (see 730 ILCS 154/1 et seq. (West 2006)), and that his plea counsel was ineffective for failing to tell him he would need to register under the Violent Offender Act.

         ¶ 7 On September 30, 2016, the circuit court summarily dismissed Mr. Johnson's petition. The court noted that Mr. Johnson had not withdrawn his 2007 guilty plea or appealed that conviction and had already served the term of imprisonment and mandatory supervised release (MSR) to which he was sentenced in case No. 07 CR 1722301. The circuit court noted that at the time he filed his petition, Mr. Johnson was independently serving "a term of two years of imprisonment for failure to register" under the Violent Offender Act in case No. 14 CR 1312801. The circuit court's opinion indicated that it obtained this information from the website for the Illinois Department of Corrections. Citing People v. Pack,224 Ill.2d 144, 150 (2007), the circuit court stated that the Act "and its remedies are not available to petitioners who have completed their sentences and merely seek to purge their criminal records." The court found that, because Mr. ...


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