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People v. Williams

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 17, 1977.

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

v.

JESSE WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. ROBERT R. BUCHAR, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE SCOTT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal from armed robbery convictions of Jesse Williams (hereinafter referred to as the defendant) after trial by jury in the Circuit Court of Will County. The defendant was sentenced to serve not less than four years nor more than 10 years in the penitentiary.

The defendant raises a number of issues for review and we first direct our attention as to whether the trial court erred by refusing to sustain defendant's objection to the prosecutor's questioning of the defendant which pertained to his exercising his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent at the time of his arrest.

This issue is predicated upon the following factual situation. At the time of his arrest the defendant was given the Miranda warnings (Miranda v. Arizona (1966), 384 U.S. 436, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602) and elected to remain silent and consequently refused to make a statement. During the course of his trial the defendant presented an alibi defense to the effect that he was in East St. Louis at the time the robberies with which he was charged were committed. During cross-examination of the defendant the following colloquy took place:

"Prosecutor: You said you were arrested on March 6?

Defendant: Yes, I was.

Prosecutor: And, you were also arrested on March 12?

Defendant: Yes, I was.

Prosecutor: On either of those days did you say anything to the police at all about your being at a party on February 14?

Counsel for Defendant: Objection to that, judge, I would like a hearing on that.

[A discussion was held off the record between court and counsel out of the hearing of the jury and the court reporter.]

The Court: Objection will be overruled, he may answer.

Defendant: Not as I can remember."

The colloquy clearly establishes the prosecutor's intent to imply that the defendant's failure to immediately tell the police (even though he had been advised of his right to remain silent) of the fact that he had been in ...


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