APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon.
CHARLES J. RYAN, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
A demonstration and "smoke-in" on the Illinois Capitol grounds.
Charge: Interference with another's use of State land.
We reverse: Insufficient evidence.
Duda and his co-defendants (Norris, Kiser, Haynes, and Callahan) were convicted of criminal trespass to State-supported land following a bench trial. The charges arose from an incident which occurred on September 3, 1978, on the grounds of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, at what has commonly been referred to as "Springfield's First Annual Fall Harvest Festival and Smoke-in."
Complaints were filed which charged defendants with violating section 21-5(a) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 21-5(a)), in that they:
"* * * entered upon land, the grounds of the State House of the State of Illinois, located in Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, and remained upon the land after receiving notice from Lance Charlson, a representative of the Secretary of State of the State of Illinois, and thereby interfered with the Illinois Secretary of State's lawful use of such land, to-wit: His legal duty to take charge of and preserve from waste and keep in repair such land, which land is supported in part with State of Illinois funds."
At trial, Gene Graves, director of physical services for the Office of the Secretary of State, detailed the attempts by defendant Duda to obtain permission to hold a demonstration on the capitol grounds. But permission was denied.
Graves then told of the events which occurred several days later, on September 3, 1978. The crowd began assembling at approximately 11:30 a.m. on the capitol grounds and the demonstration remained orderly until 1 p.m., at which time Graves noted a marked change in the crowd's demeanor. Members of the crowd sat in trees, broke tree branches, and put up signs. At 2 p.m., Graves determined that the demonstration should end at 3 p.m. Graves also stated that regulations concerning demonstrations outside of the Capitol Building were determined on an ad hoc basis, not by prior defined policy.
Steve Morehead, a lieutenant with the investigation division of the Secretary of State's office, testified regarding two incidents of a male beating on a replica of the liberty bell with wood and metal objects. At approximately 2:40 to 2:45 p.m., he informed defendant Duda and the others that the protest was to end at 3 p.m. At Morehead's request, defendant Duda relayed the message to the crowd. The crowd became boisterous after the announcement. Morehead also noted that the grounds were littered with beer bottles and cans, paper sacks, and other debris.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., a crowd control team of 150 officers in riot gear moved in to disperse the demonstrators. (There were 250-300 persons attending the demonstration.) Defendants Duda, Norris, Callahan, and Kiser were arrested after refusing to depart, and the grounds were cleared.
Steadfast in their desire to protest, and undaunted by the actions of the law enforcement personnel, a crowd of 75 to 100 demonstrators returned to the capitol grounds. Again the crowd was dispersed. Defendant Haynes was arrested in the second sweep of the grounds after he refused to depart. Tranquility ...