Supreme Court Summaries

Opinions filed December 1, 2011

People v. Johnson, 2011 IL 111817

Appellate citation: No. 1-09-1398 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

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

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

This Cook County defendant was convicted in a bench trial of two counts of unlawfully possessing of a controlled substance in 2008. He received a five-year sentence and was also assessed the $200 statutory DNA database charge that is applicable to all convicted felons. At the time of sentencing, he had been in custody for 344 days.

Section 110-14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for a $5-a-day credit against fines for each day incarcerated, and there is no dispute that this credit applies to fines only. However, Johnson contended that the DNA assessment should be reduced by his $5-a-day presentence incarceration credit. The appellate court rejected this claim and he appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In this decision, the supreme court explained that the DNA assessment helps to fund the costs of taking and analyzing DNA samples and maintaining the computerized database.

As far as the state is concerned, this assessment is compensatory. Thus, the court held, it is not a fine and the presentence credit cannot be offset against it.

The appellate court judgment was affirmed.