People v. Geiger

Illinois Supreme Court
Criminal Court
Citation
Case Number: 
2012 IL 113181
Decision Date: 
October 18, 2012
District: 
3d Dist.
Division/County: 
Kankakee Co.
Justice: 
BURKE
Holding: 
Appellate court reversed; remanded for re-sentencing.
Twenty-year sentence imposed for Defendant's refusal to testify at a fellow gang member's murder trial was manifestly disproportionate to nature of offense and thus unreasonably excessive. Although Defendant willfully and deliberately refused to testify, and court found him in direct criminal contempt, his refusal was based on his mistaken belief that he had fifth amendment right to refuse. Some evidence was presented that other gang members who testified were threatened, and thus refusal could have been based on fear of retaliation.(THOMAS, GARMAN, KARMEIER, and THEIS, concurring; FREEMAN, specially concurring; KILBRIDE, dissenting.)