People v. EnglishAnnotate this Case
English, was charged with knowing murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(2)), felony murder predicated on aggravated battery of a child (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(3)), and aggravated battery of a child (720 ILCS 5/12-4.3(a)), based on the death of his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter. Convicted of felony murder and aggravated battery of a child, he was sentenced to natural life imprisonment. The appellate court held that the court did not err by not instructing the jury on involuntary manslaughter, but that the sentencing statute violated Illinois’ single-subject rule. On remand, he was sentenced to 50 years. While direct appeal was pending, English filed a post-conviction petition, which he voluntarily dismissed in 2003. In 2004, he filed another post-conviction petition, which the court treated as successive and dismissed. The appellate court held that it had no jurisdiction to consider dismissal of the 2004 petition, but that the court erred in declining to reinstate the 1999 petition. On remand, English argued that his felony-murder conviction was improper because the acts constituting the aggravated battery of a child arose from, and were inherent in, the killing. The circuit court denied the petition as barred by res judicata because it was related to the claim raised on direct appeal regarding jury instructions on involuntary manslaughter. The appellate and supreme courts affirmed.