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People v. Linzy

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 3, 1979.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT,

v.

DARLENE LINZY, APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District; MR. JUSTICE KLUCZYNSKI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, Darlene Linzy, was indicted in the circuit court of Cook County for the murders of Linda Goodrom and Sharon Donaldson. Defendant filed a motion to quash the indictment because of alleged improper and prejudicial conduct of the prosecutor during the grand jury proceedings. The circuit court examined a transcript of the grand jury proceedings and dismissed the indictment. The appellate court affirmed (62 Ill. App.3d 97), and we allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal (65 Ill.2d R. 315).

Two issues are presented for review. First, whether the circuit court had authority to examine the transcript of the grand jury proceedings to determine the propriety of the prosecutor's conduct. Second, whether the circuit court properly dismissed defendant's indictment on the basis of the prosecutor's conduct evidenced in the grand jury transcript.

One of the two police officers who arrested defendant testified before the grand jury. The officer recounted that he examined the bodies of the victims, spoke to a pathologist concerning the causes of death, and arrested defendant. He also summarized a statement given by defendant in which defendant related the circumstances leading to the shooting deaths of the victims. Defendant had gone to a tavern with a girl friend. One of the victims had thrown a lighted cigarette onto defendant's table while that victim was dancing. When the dance was over, defendant asked the victim why she had thrown the cigarette on the table, and the victim replied that since she did not burn defendant's clothing or get the cigarette into defendant's drink, defendant should "back off." Several words were exchanged. Approximately an hour after the first contact, defendant got up to leave. One of the victims approached her and offered to fight. The victim "slapped at" defendant. Defendant shot and killed that victim and the woman who was standing behind her.

The transcript of the grand jury proceedings shows that the following occurred after the police officer completed his testimony:

"MR. O'MALLEY [the prosecutor]: Thank you. I have no further questions. (Witness excused)

THE FOREMAN: True bill.

THE FOREMAN: On that case I am not sure if I clarified on the record, I am proceeding on a true bill on two counts of murder.

A JUROR: There are no degrees for murder?

MR. O'MALLEY: No, they have reduced it to voluntary and involuntary, as you know.

A JUROR: Did the two women have records?

MR. O'MALLEY: No, they did not.

A JUROR: It could have been considered voluntary manslaughter?

MR. O'MALLEY: Not under those facts. While there might have been some ...


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