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People v. Johnson

APRIL 27, 1973.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

MICHAEL JOHNSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT J. COLLINS, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

OFFENSE CHARGED

Armed robbery. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 38, par. 18-2.

JUDGMENT

The jury found defendant guilty of armed robbery, and he was sentenced to a term of 5 to 15 years.

CONTENTIONS RAISED ON APPEAL

1. Defendant was denied a fair trial when a police witness for the State told the jury that defendant had a "criminal history," and the judge failed to declare a mistrial, even though he agreed defendant had been prejudiced and that the instruction to disregard had been ineffective.

2. Defendant was denied a fair trial when the judge, rather than declare a mistrial, attempted to cure the error by falsely stating to the jury that this testimony of the State witness was incorrect.

3. Defendant was prejudiced by the prosecutor's use of rebuttal testimony to impeach defendant on a collateral matter.

4. The sentence imposed upon defendant was excessive.

EVIDENCE

Jean Boughton, for the State:

On Saturday, May 16, 1970, she was working as a ticket agent for the Chicago Transit Authority at the 59th and State Streets elevated station in Chicago. At 11:40 P.M., three black men came up to her booth and stood around as if getting change to pay their fares. The next thing she knew, each one had put a gun in the slot of her booth and defendant told her to open the door and raise her hands. The area was well lighted. She opened the booth and went out, passing defendant by a couple of inches. They ransacked the place looking for money; $22.50 was taken; $10 was hers and the rest belonged to the CTA. Two days later, she went ...


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