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The People v. Thigpen

OPINION FILED JANUARY 25, 1966.

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

v.

DEWEY THIGPEN, JR., PLAINTIFF IN ERROR.



WRIT OF ERROR to the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon. QUINTEN SPIVEY, Judge, presiding. MR. JUSTICE UNDERWOOD DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was convicted of armed robbery after a 1959 jury trial in the circuit court of St. Clair County and sentenced to 15 to 50 years imprisonment. On this writ of error defendant contends that failure of the trial court to conduct, sua sponte, a hearing outside the presence of the jury concerning the admissibility of an oral confession denied him due process of law under both the Illinois and United States constitutions and that he is therefore entitled to a new trial.

While the State contends that objection to the admission of the alleged oral statement was merely as to form and procedure and did not adequately apprise the trial court that substantive admissibility was being contested, reference to the record indicates that this argument cannot be sustained.

During direct examination of the first police officer testifying at the trial the following transpired:

"Mr. Costello [assistant State's Attorney]: Q. All right, Sir, in your investigation was this defendant interrogated in the East St. Louis Police Department?

"A. Yes, Sir.

"Q. Did he make any statement concerning * * *

"Mr. Younge [counsel for defendant]: We will object to any of that, Your Honor, in that on these particular statements made at that particular time, we made a motion in this case earlier on [sic] suppress evidence on this particular thing and were told there was no statement in this particular case and that no statement would be used.

"Mr. Costello: Mr. Younge is confused. There was another case where this man was defendant, and Mr. Younge made a motion in that case to suppress a written confession allegedly taken. There was no written confession in that case.

"Mr. Younge: They were both of this man.

"Mr. Costello: Only one case was set.

"Mr. Younge: And I made an objection and you told us there was no statement in either one.

"The Court: I don't see any.

"Mr. Younge: We object to any oral ...


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