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People v. Hawkins

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

January 14, 2020

The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Anthony K. HAWKINS, Defendant-Appellant.


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          Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois. Circuit No. 08-CF-2169 Honorable Carmen Julia Goodman, Judge, Presiding.

          James E. Chadd, Patricia Mysza, and Jessica D. Ware, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for appellant.

          James W. Glasgow, State's Attorney, of Joliet (Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and Justin A. Nicolosi, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

          JUSTICE WRIGHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice O'Brien concurred in the judgment and opinion. Justice Schmidt dissented, with opinion.



         ¶ 1 A jury convicted defendant, Anthony K. Hawkins, of first degree murder and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (AUUW). After this court, affirmed defendant's convictions and sentences on appeal, he filed a pro se postconviction petition. Following a hearing at which defendant was shackled over his objections, the circuit court dismissed defendant's petition at the second stage of postconviction proceedings. On appeal, defendant argues that the court erred in ordering that he be shackled without stating the reasons supporting the shackling on the record. He also argues

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that postconviction counsel failed to comply with the requirements of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 651(c) (eff. Feb. 6, 2013) in that he did not make amendments to defendant's petition necessary for an adequate presentation of defendant's claims. We vacate the circuit court's order dismissing defendant's petition at the second stage of postconviction proceedings and remand for new second-stage proceedings, beginning with the appointment of postconviction counsel.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 The State charged defendant with first degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(2) (West 2008)) and AUUW ( id. § 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A)). Before trial, defendant filed a motion to suppress certain statements made to the police, asserting that he had invoked his right to counsel multiple times during his interrogation. Following a hearing at which a video recording of defendant's interrogation was introduced, the court granted in part and denied in part defendant's motion to suppress. Specifically, the court found that defendant's earliest references to a lawyer were vague and not sufficient to invoke his right to counsel. However, the court found that comments made later in the interrogation were sufficient and ordered that all statements made after that invocation of defendant's rights be suppressed.

         ¶ 4 The matter proceeded to trial, at which a jury found defendant guilty on both counts. The court subsequently sentenced defendant to terms of 45 years' and 2 years' imprisonment for first degree murder and AUUW, respectively. On appeal, this court affirmed those convictions and sentences. People v. Hawkins, 2013 IL App. (3d) 110267-U, 2013 WL 2456483.

         ¶ 5 On October 11, 2013, defendant filed a pro se postconviction petition. Defendant raised numerous issues in his petition, including that appellate counsel had been ineffective for failing to argue on direct appeal that the circuit court had erred by denying in part his motion to suppress. He also asserted that his conviction for AUUW was unconstitutional.

         ¶ 6 The court appointed postconviction counsel,[1] advancing defendant's petition to the second stage of postconviction proceedings. Postconviction counsel subsequently filed a petition for relief from judgment, alleging that defendant's AUUW conviction should be vacated under People v. Aguilar, 2013 IL 112116, 377 Ill.Dec. 405, 2 N.E.3d 321. The court granted that petition for relief from judgment and vacated defendant's conviction.

         ¶ 7 Months later, postconviction counsel filed a motion to withdraw. In the motion, counsel stated that he had reviewed the record together with defendant's pro se postconviction petition dated October 11, 2013. Counsel indicated that he had met with defendant in person to ascertain defendant's contentions of error. Postconviction counsel concluded that following the ruling on the petition for relief from judgment, there were no additional nonfrivolous arguments to be made on defendant's behalf. With respect to defendant's view that appellate counsel was ineffective, postconviction counsel asserted that "the trial court's decision is in accordance with applicable case law." On May 31, 2016, the circuit court found that counsel had complied with the requirements of Rule 651(c) and granted his motion to withdraw.

         ¶ 8 The State subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the postconviction petition. Defendant, now proceeding pro se at the second stage, filed a response. At the hearing

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on the State's motion to dismiss, held on October 28, 2016, defendant repeatedly requested that he be unshackled so that he could maneuver through his notes and other paperwork. At one point, after repeated requests, the court responded: "I'm not removing them, [defendant]. Do the best you can do." Defendant's other requests for the removal of his shackles were not acknowledged and did not draw any response from the court or the prosecutor. The record does not include the factors considered by the court when denying defendant's requests and did not provide any rationale for ...

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