Defendant was convicted of murder of his girlfriend's three-year-old son. Court's finding of eligibility for the death sentence, based on evidence that Defendant inflicted severe, forceful, and violent injuries on victim, did not violate Apprendi or Mata. Evidence of Defendant's abusive childhood does not change his status of eligibility for death sentence. Defendant cannot bypass first and second stage of Post-Conviction Hearing Act, but may file a successive postconviction petition which is subject to cause-and-prejudice test.
(LYTTON and CARTER, concurring.)