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People v. Cooper

JULY 10, 1975.

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

v.

MICHAEL CHARLES COOPER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Franklin County; the Hon. HARRY L. ZIEGLER, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE EBERSPACHER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal by the defendant, Michael Charles Cooper, from a judgment of conviction entered by the circuit court of Franklin County on a jury's verdict of guilty to the charge of voluntary manslaughter, a lesser included offense in the murder charged, and the imposition of a sentence of not less than 3 years' nor more than 9 years' imprisonment.

We note at the outset that the defendant's brief on appeal contains a section entitled "Issues Presented for Review," which contains 17 enumerated "issues." Under defendant's section entitled "Points and Authorities," only four "points" are raised. The defendant's argument is not organized into sections dealing with each "issue" or "point." Supreme Court Rule 341(e)(7) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, par. 341(e)(7)) provides, in part:

"(e) Appellant's Brief. The appellant's brief shall contain the following parts in the order named:

(7) Argument, which shall contain the contentions of the appellant and the reasons therefor, with citation of the authorities and the pages of the record relied on. * * * Points not argued are waived and shall not be raised in the reply brief, in oral argument, or on petition for rehearing."

Since the defendant has seen fit not to argue several of his "issues" we deem such issues waived. For purposes of review we have consolidated those contentions presented in defendant's argument, and hence not waived, into the following:

(1) The defendant was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the charge of voluntary manslaughter.

(2) The opening statement by the State's Attorney was prejudicial to the defendant.

(3) The defendant was prejudiced by the State's failure to divulge certain evidence which was within the defendant's motion for discovery.

(4) It was reversible error for the State to fail to present evidence establishing the defendant's sanity before resting its case in chief when it had been notified that insanity would be one of the defendant's defenses.

(5) The trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury as to "the lesser included offense" of involuntary manslaughter.

• 1-3 The defendant's contention that he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the charge of voluntary manslaughter is premised upon the degree of the defendant's intoxication at the time of the offense and his allegation that he was not the aggressor i.e., he acted in self-defense. As we recently stated in People v. Heiple, 29 Ill. App.3d 452, 453, 330 N.E.2d 556, 557.

"* * * voluntary intoxication is no excuse for the perpetration of a criminal act; however, it may be used to negate intent where the intoxication is so extreme as to suspend all reason and make impossible the existence of a mental state which is an element of the crime. [Citations.]"

While the testimony presented on behalf of the defendant regarding the amount of alcohol the defendant had consumed stood unrebutted, since there was a conflict in testimony concerning the degree of the defendant's intoxication at the time of the offense, it was for the jury, as the triers of fact, to determine not only the credibility of the witnesses, but, ultimately, if the defendant's degree of intoxication had advanced to the stage where it suspended all of the defendant's power to reason and made it impossible for the defendant to entertain the requisite mental state required to commit the offense of voluntary manslaughter. (See People v. Heiple, 29 Ill. App.3d 452, 330 N.E.2d 556; People v. Smith, 26 Ill. ...


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