APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EARL E.
STRAYHORN, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE HAYES DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
After indictment, Samuel Jackson, defendant, was tried before a jury, was found guilty of the murder of Clarence Jones, and was sentenced to a term of 15 to 20 years in the penitentiary. He appeals and presents the following issues:
(1) Did an instruction on motive tendered by the State and given to the jury, deprive defendant of a fair trial?
(2) Did the trial Court's refusal to give "clarifying" instructions on self-defense deprive defendant of due process and a fair trial?
(3) Was the evidence sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?
(4) Did improper conduct by the prosecutor deprive defendant of a fair trial?
An adequate review of these issues in this case requires the presentation of a somewhat detailed summary of the evidence.
Caldonia Jones, the wife of the victim, testified as a life and death witness. When asked by the State what her family consisted of on 22 August 1970, defense counsel objected and was sustained. Nevertheless, the witness answered, "myself and six children." The court instructed the jury to disregard the statement.
Glennie Pugh, a maid at Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital under Clarence Jones' supervision, testified that on the morning of 22 August 1970 at about 2:45 A.M., she was working on the first floor of the professional building of the hospital in the vicinity of the canteen area. Mr. Jones was in the canteen area standing next to one of the vending machines and mopping a rubber mat. Defendant, dressed in street clothes rather than in work clothes, then appeared in the lobby area and walked through the doors that led into the canteen area from the lobby. Defendant was facing the witness, who had her back to Mr. Jones, when defendant stopped walking and stood in the doorway. The witness then heard defendant say to Mr. Jones, "I told you before when you pulled my card, goddamit." The witness was a few steps from defendant when she observed defendant reach toward his waistband with his right hand and pull a gun. At this point, the witness hollered "oh, no" and ran into an adjacent washroom. After she had entered the washroom, the witness heard two loud noises which were shots. A few minutes later the witness left the washroom and saw Mr. Jones lying on the rubber mat. Defendant was not present at that time.
Thomas Dailey, director of security for Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital, testified that he had picked up defendant's employee time card from underneath the body of Mr. Jones, after the shooting. The card was punched in at 9:39 P.M. on 21 August 1970. The time indicated on the punch-out column was partially obliterated by blood, but was some minutes after 12 midnight.
Dr. E.J. Shalgos, a coroner's pathologist, testified that Mr. Jones was struck by two or three bullets. One bullet entered the back web of the left arm and exited the anterior right chest; another bullet entered slightly below and toward the back of the left chest and exited the right chest. Dr. Shalgos stated that he did not want to imply that the victim had been shot directly in the back. When one bullet went through the body, the right arm had to be up; and when the other bullet was fired, the right arm had to be next to the trunk.
Johnny Willis, a houseman, testified that, on 22 August 1970 between 2:30 A.M. and 2:45 A.M., he was working on the third floor of the professional building of the hospital. At that time defendant came to him and inquired as to the whereabouts of Mr. Jones. The witness told the defendant that the last time he saw Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones was on the second floor. Defendant turned around, entered the elevator, and went down.
Louis Smith, an employee of the hospital, testified that on 21 August 1970 he was working in the hospital from 10 P.M. until 6 A.M. The witness was assigned by Mr. Jones, along with defendant, to work in the professional building. Around midnight, Mr. Jones asked Mr. Smith where the defendant was. The witness replied that he did not know. The witness next saw Mr. Jones around 2 A.M. in the professional building. Mr. Jones told him, "If you see Mr. Jackson tell him to go home, or either come to the office." Sometime after 2:30 A.M., the witness was on the first floor of the professional building in the lobby, outside the canteen area; he saw defendant get off the elevator. As defendant got off the elevator, the witness told him that Mr. Jones was in the canteen area. Defendant said nothing and walked past the witness toward the canteen area. Then the witness heard the defendant say: "Jones, why did you pull my card? You won't pull it anymore." The witness then heard two shots. ...