Monday, May 19, 2014

State v. Kent Bowers case brief summary

State v. Kent Bowers

D and others protested abortions outs of a Women’s Clinic, blocking the doors. Police arrested the protestors. Protestors requested jury trials, but were denied the jury trials because Magistrate ensured them that he was not imposing any jail sentences in the event they were found guilty. D was found guilty on unlawful occupancy of property (State misdemeanor) and disorderly assembly in violation of (a city ordinance). The Magistrate imposed a suspended jail sentence, fine and 1 year probation. 
On appeal the Circuit Ct reversed the 7 day jail sentence, but allowed the fines and probation. 

S.C. held that D were not denied their 6th amendment right to a jury trial by being placed on probation for one year because no jail sentence remained that can be imposed.

·         Had the D been charged with the State Law version of the ordinance, rather than the city version, the max incarceration would had been one year; would had been entitled to jury trials
·         IL says that if it is punishable by jail time, then you get a jury trial;

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