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The People v. Jackson

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 30, 1961.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT IN ERROR,

v.

LEROY JACKSON, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR.



WRIT OF ERROR to the Criminal Court of Cook County; the Hon. HAROLD P. O'CONNELL, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DAILY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

At a jury trial conducted in the criminal court of Cook County, the defendant, LeRoy Jackson, was convicted of murdering one Louise Jackson, and was sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of 199 years. Upon writ of error to review that judgment he contends the trial court erred in admitting certain evidence, and in instructing the jury.

Since the facts are fully set forth in People v. Jackson, 9 Ill.2d 484, it is necessary at this time to repeat only the essential circumstances involved in the charge against defendant. At about 4:00 A.M. on the morning of April 9, 1954, Louise Jackson, who was not related to defendant, was fatally stabbed in her bedroom at 3547 Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago. The weapon used was a paring knife which had been stolen in the burglary of a nearby home approximately an hour earlier. Defendant was arrested on May 24, 1954, and, the following day, signed a 23-page confession stating in detail how he had acquired the knife in the earlier burglary and then killed Louise Jackson when she resisted his attempt to rob her. A gun found in his possession was likewise identified as one stolen at the same time the knife was taken. At a preliminary hearing on June 2, 1954, without being represented by counsel or advised of his constitutional privilege against self-incrimination, defendant, in answer to questions propounded both by the court and an assistant State's Attorney, admitted under oath that he had stabbed the victim during the course of a robbery.

When the cause was tried a transcript of the proceedings at the preliminary hearing was admitted into evidence against defendant, and it is his initial contention that this was reversible error in that his constitutional right against self-incrimination was violated. Specifically, the record discloses that defendant was called and sworn at the preliminary hearing at the request of an assistant State's Attorney, after which the following interrogation occurred:

"Q. LeRoy, you know my name is Irving Lang.

A. Yes.

Q. And you know you are in the courtroom of Judge Schiller, is that correct, at this time? And this is the Judge before you, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. LeRoy, at this time, I want to ask you, did you stab Louise Jackson on April 9, 1954?

A. I did.

Q. That is the girl, lady, on 3800, 3857 Cottage, is that correct, approximately?

A. Yes.

Q. This, you tell us now of your own free will in front of this ...


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