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People v. Newlun

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 6, 1980.

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

v.

CURT NEWLUN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Fulton County; the Hon. DANIEL J. ROBERTS, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE ALLOY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied November 26, 1980.

In these consolidated appeals by the defendant, Curt Newlun, from his convictions for the unlawful delivery of cannabis and the unlawful delivery of a controlled substance (methylenedioxyamphetamine), only one issue is raised. That issue is whether the trial court abused its discretion by failing to ask prospective jurors certain supplemental questions provided by the defense.

Prior to the trial court's questioning of the prospective jurors, counsel were permitted to submit questions pertaining to jurors' general qualifications. The trial court then determined whether the questions would be asked.

Defense counsel submitted a total of 13 questions. Defense question four was asked of at least two jurors to resolve any question regarding differing burdens of proof in civil and criminal cases. There is no showing on appeal that the trial court improperly instructed the jury. The court wholly excluded questions 7 through 11 and 13, reasoning that the questions would be, or should be, covered in the instructions to the jury at the close of the evidence in the case. Specifically, the defense questions excluded by the court were:

Defendant's Jury Question No. 7

"You understand that the State has the burden of proof, and the defendant need not make any explanation, but rather it is the State who must produce evidence to establish the built [sic] of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt?

You understand that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty?"

Defendant's Jury Question No. 8

"You understand that the accused has the right to testify as a witness or not to testify as a witness?

If he does not [sic] testify as a witness, would you disregard his testimony merely because he is the interested party in the case?

In other words, would you place the same test of credibility on the testimony of Curt Newlun as any other witness?"

Defendant's Jury Question No. 9

"If Curt Newlun was not called as a witness, would you hold ...


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