Mr. JUSTICE GREEN delivered the opinion of the court:
The defendant Wayne Gibson was indicted for the offense of involuntary manslaughter in that on April 29, 1974,
The provisions of the Criminal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 9-3) defined involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide as follows:
Upon his plea of guilty entered pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement and accepted after compliance by the trial court with the requirements of Supreme Court Rule 402, the defendant was convicted for the offense of involuntary manslaughter on September 23, 1974. A presentence investigation was conducted, and a report was prepared. A sentencing hearing was held on November 14, 1974. The court was advised of the terms of the plea agreement which included a recommendation from the State that the defendant be sentenced to a term not to exceed 5 years' probation with certain conditions attached. The trial court rejected that proposal and imposed a term of 1 to 10 years' imprisonment.
A direct appeal was filed. During the pendency of the appeal, the Criminal Code provisions governing involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide were amended and now provide:
The amended provisions became effective on October 1, 1975.
The defendant contends that the second sentence of above quoted provision of the Unified Code of Corrections applies to his case because the conduct for which he was indicted and convicted is now punishable by a lesser sentence than under prior law. However, we cannot agree with the defendant. We shall affirm.
The amendment to the Criminal Code provisions dealing with involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide changes the nature of the offense of involuntary manslaughter (in some instances) but does not reduce the penalty for involuntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter is a Class 3 felony under both Code provisions. In the defendant's case, the conduct which constituted involuntary manslaughter at the time the offense was committed is now classified as reckless homicide. Thus, the second sentence of section 8-2-4 has no application here.
The suggestion has been made that People v. Williams (1975), 60 Ill.2d 1, 322 N.E.2d 819, stands for the proposition that any change in substantive statutory law which is favorable to a defendant and which occurs during the pendency of an appeal inures to the benefit of the defendant. However, we do not view the holding of Williams to be so broad. The statutory change in Williams involved a sentencing provision, rather than a change in the definition of the offense as involved here. We can find no authority holding that, if wrongful conduct is later defined as a lesser offense while the defendant's appeal is pending, the defendant is entitled to have his sentence reduced to conform to the penalty provision for the lesser offense.
The application of the instant amendment of the Criminal Code is governed by section 4 of "An Act to revise the law in relation to the construction of the statutes".
Therefore, the benefits of the amendment to the Criminal Code provisions regarding involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide are not applicable to the defendant's case.
Accordingly, the judgment of conviction and sentence are affirmed.
TRAPP, P.J., concurs.
Mr. JUSTICE CRAVEN, dissenting:
In Williams, the Illinois Supreme Court again held that if the sentence provisions of a statute were more favorable to the defendant by reason of enactment during the time that the appeal was pending, the defendant is entitled to the benefit of the more favorable intervening statute. The opinion in Williams cites and relies upon and follows the cases of People v. Morgan (1974), 59 Ill.2d 276, 319 N.E.2d 764; People ex rel. Weaver v. Longo (1974), 57 Ill.2d 67, 309 N.E.2d 581; People v. Chupich (1973), 53 Ill.2d 572, 295 N.E.2d 1; People v. Harvey, (1973), 53 Ill.2d 585, 294 N.E.2d 689.
The majority opinion in this case seeks to distinguish Williams, but the attempt is unsuccessful. In this case, the conduct of the defendant at the time of the conduct and at the time of the negotiated plea constituted involuntary manslaughter and was subject to a penalty of not less than 1 nor more than 10 years as a Class 3 felony. While the appeal was pending, Public Act 79-679, approved September 3, 1975, effective October 1, 1975, effectively changed the offense with which this case is concerned from involuntary manslaughter to reckless homicide and the penalty provision was changed and the penalty possibilities were those for a Class 4 felony