Supreme Court Summaries


Opinions filed May 23, 2013


 

 

 

In re M.I., 2013 IL 113776

Appellate citation: 2011 IL App (1st) 100865.

 

      JUSTICE GARMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

      Chief Justice Kilbride and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Karmeier, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.

 

      In 2009, Chicago police responded to a large street fight. Although the officers were in plain clothes, they wore badges. One of them yelled “police, stop, stop,” but this juvenile respondent, then 16, fired multiple gunshots in their direction.

      A petition to have M.I. adjudicated delinquent was filed, and the State also made a motion to designate the proceedings, pursuant to the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, as an “extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution.” This motion was granted, and M.I. waived his right to a jury trial. After adjudicating him delinquent in bench proceedings, the Cook County circuit court sentenced him on two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm. This sentence was to be for an indeterminate period in the juvenile division of the Illinois Department of Corrections, to end no later than his twenty-first birthday. The court also imposed a 23-year adult sentence, which was stayed pending successful completion of the juvenile sentence. The appellate court affirmed.

      In this appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, M.I. complained that the hearing on the designation of his case as an extended jurisdiction juvenile proceeding was not held within the time period called for by statute. Although there had been a number of continuances, the supreme court said in this decision that the statute is directory rather than mandatory and that the sentence which was imposed is not rendered void because the proceedings took longer than anticipated.

      M.I. raised a constitutional vagueness challenge to the provision of the statute on extended jurisdiction juvenile proceedings that provides for revocation of a stay of an adult sentence. Such a stay was part of the original sentence, and the State has filed a petition for revocation based on a subsequent drug offense, which is not presently before the supreme court. A stay may be statutorily revoked for violation of the “conditions” of a sentence, and M.I. complained that the term “conditions” was vague, but this was not the provision under which revocation was sought in this case and, thus, he lacked standing for the challenge which he made.

      M.I. also claimed that there was a due process violation in imposing upon him a 23-year adult sentence (which was stayed pending completion of the juvenile sentence). He cited Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), concerning the findings of fact which must underlie a sentence. However, the supreme court found no Apprendi violation. M.I. had waived his right to a jury trial, was tried by the court, and was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The court found every element for the statutory sentence beyond a reasonable doubt and sentenced M.I. to a total of 23 years, within the statutory range of the criminal offense committed. In addition, the supreme court noted that the extended jurisdiction juvenile statute is dispositional rather than adjudicatory, and that the appellate court has been uniform in holding that it does not violate Apprendi. This due process claim was, therefore, rejected.

      The results below were affirmed.