People v. Busse: Recent Opinion from the Illinois Appellate Court

December 30, 2016 6:05 pm Published by

The 1st District Appellate Court reduced a 12 year prison sentence to 6 years under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 615. The court found that the trial court had abused its discretion when it sentenced the defendant to 12 years for fishing $44 worth of quarters out a vending machine on the UIC campus. The court stated that “in fashioning the appropriate sentence, the most important factor to consider is the seriousness of the crime.” (citation omitted) The court also criticized the legislature for allowing such a petty and non-violent crime to have a statutory minimum sentence of 6 years. The minimum sentence of six resulted from the defendant having two prior class 2 (or better) felonies in his background and the current felony was a class 1 (theft from a school).  The defendant did not have any violence in his background and was residing at a homeless shelter at the time of the offense.

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