the evidence was actually recovered–or at how easily it was
recovered–improperly shifts the statutory inquiry away from its
rightful focus on defendant’s actions at the time of the crime onto
how quickly and competently police reacted to defendant’s actions
after the concealment had been completed. See, e.g., Brogan v.
United States, 522 U.S. 398 (1998); People v. Manning, 334 Ill. App.
3d 882 (2002).
The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brogan is
instructive. There, the defendant argued that he could not be
convicted of making a false statement to federal investigators because
the investigators knew his statements were false when made. Thus,
the defendant reasoned, because the officers were not actually
deceived by the false statements, he did not commit a crime.
Defendant also argued that the statute should be interpreted more
narrowly than its plain language because the evil to be prevented was
the “perversion of governmental functions.” Brogan, 522 U.S. at 401-
02. The Supreme Court soundly rejected both contentions: “It could
be argued, perhaps, that a disbelieved falsehood does not pervert an
investigation. But making the existence of this crime turn upon the
credulousness of the federal investigator (or the persuasiveness of the
liar) would be exceedingly strange; such a defense to the analogous
crime of perjury is certainly unheard of.” (Emphasis in original.)
Brogan, 522 U.S. at 402, 139 L. Ed. 2d at 836, 118 S. Ct. at 809. The
Court continued by stating that “it is not, and cannot be, our practice
to restrict the unqualified language of a statute to the particular evil
that Congress was trying to remedy–even assuming that it is possible
to identify that evil from something other than the text of the statute
itself.” Brogan, 522 U.S. at 403.
The decision of our appellate court in Manning is similarly
instructive. The defendant in that case argued that he had not
“concealed” his daughter from his spouse for 15 days–as required by
the child abduction statute (720 ILCS 5/10–5(b)(6) (West
2000))–because his wife was able to discover the daughter’s location
from other sources. Manning, 334 Ill. App. 3d at 887, 889. The court
rejected that argument, stating that “[i]n determining whether a
defendant committed a criminal act, the focus must be on the
defendant’s state of mind.” (Emphasis added.) Manning, 334 Ill. App.
3d at 887. The court then employed the common dictionary definition
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