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not at either time seek an additional continuance or assert they were unprepared for the penalty trial.  But on appeal, apparently claiming he should have received a longer continuance before the penalty phase, defendant attributes his trial attorneys’ inaction during the penalty phase to the court’s earlier denials of continuances for trial preparation.

We must reject this contention as completely unsupported by the record.  In addition to the more than two years counsel Miller had already represented defendant, the defense was given 42 days (from June 5 to July 17) after the close of the guilt trial to prepare for the penalty trial.  That time included a continuance requested by the defense and granted by the court.  At the penalty trial, counsel did not request more time, nor did counsel claim that their failure to call any penalty witnesses or present other mitigating evidence was due to lack of preparation.  There is thus no basis for the claim that the court’s earlier denial of continuances deprived counsel of a reasonable opportunity to prepare for the penalty phase.

D. Posttrial continuances denied September 21 and 25, 1990

The jury returned its penalty verdict on July 19, 1990.  The court indicated it would set August 16, 1990, as the date for hearing the automatic motion for modification of verdict and for sentencing, but at the request of defense counsel set those matters instead for August 23, a week later.

On August 10, 1990, asserting that the defense needed additional time to prepare a motion for new trial based on the discovery of new evidence, defense counsel Miller filed a motion for continuance of the sentencing and modification hearing.  On August 23, the court granted that motion, setting a new date of September 21.  

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