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People v. Robinson

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 22, 1981.

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

v.

ARTHUR G. ROBINSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ANTHONY J. SCOTILLO, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE DOWNING DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant Arthur G. Robinson was charged by information with attempted murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 8-4), armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 18-2), unlawful restraint (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 10-3), and three counts of aggravated battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, pars. 12-4(a), 12-4(b)(1)). At trial, defendant interposed the defense of insanity. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 6-2.) A jury found defendant not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty of all other charges. The trial court sentenced defendant to indeterminate sentences of 1 to 3 years for unlawful restraint, 3 to 10 years for aggravated battery, and 10 to 20 years for armed robbery.

Defendant asks this court to determine whether (1) the trial court erred in refusing defendant's pretrial motion for a separate trial on his claim of insanity; (2) he was denied an impartial jury when the trial court refused to ask the veniremen certain questions offered by defense counsel relating to the insanity defense; (3) certain allegedly erroneous evidentiary rulings prejudiced the insanity defense; (4) the State failed to prove defendant sane beyond a reasonable doubt; and (5) the trial court erred in tendering a certain instruction to the jury regarding the insanity defense.

On the evening of June 22, 1977, Jessie Carter was stabbed by defendant, forced into the trunk of his own car, and driven around parts of Chicago for several hours prior to making an escape. Several days later, defendant was arrested and charged with the offenses involved in this case.

Prior to trial, defense counsel requested a bifurcated trial so that he could separately present the questions of self-defense and the defense of insanity, claiming that these defenses were antagonistic. The trial court denied the motion on the ground that these allegations were insufficient to warrant two separate proceedings.

Jury selection began on May 17, 1979. Defense counsel presented the court with seven questions he desired be asked of prospective jurors, aimed at determining the veniremen's thoughts about the insanity defense. The trial court ruled that only two of the questions could be asked. Although voir dire proceedings followed, this court has not been provided with a transcript or any other type of record of that phase of the trial.

At trial, victim Jessie Carter appeared at the behest of the State. On the evening of June 22, 1977, Carter was at a pool hall on the west side of Chicago. He left the hall at about 10 p.m. As he went to his car, Carter heard someone call his name. He looked up and saw defendant, whom he had seen occasionally before. Defendant asked Carter for a ride to defendant's home. Carter agreed, and defendant entered the car. At that time, defendant asked Carter if he had any money, and Carter stated that he did not. Defendant then asked Carter to perform an act of oral sex upon him and then pay defendant for it. Carter refused. Defendant then asked Carter to wait while he went back into the pool hall for a moment. Three or four minutes later, defendant reentered Carter's car and asked again for money. Carter repeated that he had none, and defendant pulled a knife. He grabbed Carter around the neck and stabbed him in the ribs. Defendant then told Carter to start driving. The two men drove for several minutes, then defendant instructed Carter to pull over. Carter got out of the car and was told to walk to the trunk. Defendant again requested Carter to perform the oral sex act, but Carter refused. Defendant then took Carter's money, about $2, and forced Carter into the trunk.

Defendant drove the car for about two hours, stopping on three occasions. Meanwhile, Carter was able to remove the trunk lock. On the last stop, as defendant approached the trunk, Carter quickly flipped the trunk lid open and swung at defendant with a tire jack, knocking the knife out of defendant's hand. Defendant ran and Carter yelled for help. Eventually, he spotted a police car and was taken to the hospital. Several days later, Carter learned defendant's full name and related it to the police. On cross-examination, Carter related that defendant was upset and excited at the time he stabbed Carter.

Officer Robert Thorne testified that he and his partner arrested defendant at his home on July 11, 1977. Thorne stated that defendant acted "normal for that area" when arrested, asking Thorne what he was being charged with. On redirect examination, Thorne stated that he averaged 80 arrests per month during his first six years on the force and 10 arrests per month in the following two years. Over objection, Thorne noted that about 85% of those arrestees asked what they were arrested for.

At the conclusion of Thorne's testimony, the State rested its case in chief.

Defendant's sister, Ailene Robinson, testified to childhood life in the Robinson family. Robinson described her mother as very strict and domineering. She once punished defendant at the age of 10 by sending him to school dressed in girl's clothing. Defendant was sent to Chicago State Hospital, a mental institution, at that age. He spent over a year there. About two and then four years later, defendant was sent to Elgin State Hospital. In 1977, defendant was sent to the Madden Mental Health Center in Maywood.

Robinson related that defendant desired to be an artist. She was present when defendant tried to hang himself, and earlier when he jumped out of a window. Defense counsel attempted to ask Robinson about defendant's attitudes on homosexuality. The State's objections were sustained.

Dr. Victoria Orfei examined defendant at the Madden Mental Health Center on June 28, 1977, six days after he attacked Carter. She did not make a mental diagnosis. At the exam, defendant was in an agitated, uncooperative state. Defendant told Orfei that he had been attacked by a homosexual on the previous night and "was forced to drink an alcoholic beverage." Orfei diagnosed only hypertension.

The central witness to defendant's insanity claim was psychiatrist Marvin Ziporyn. Dr. Ziporyn has practiced psychiatry since 1955. He examined defendant once, for 45 minutes, on May 30, 1978. At that time, he had read reports on defendant's prior treatment at Madden, and at Elgin in 1963. Dr. Ziporyn stated that knowing a person's prior history is useful in determining his sanity. The examination of defendant was a standard psychiatric test involving an interview, a physical exam, and a formal mental status exam consisting of specific questions. During this procedure, there was "quite a bit" of discussion about homosexuality. Defendant told Dr. Ziporyn that he had been a constant target of homosexual attack or seduction throughout his life. Defendant said he found homosexuality to be very shameful, extremely distasteful, and unpleasant. Defendant did not specifically deny having engaged in homosexual acts.

During the exam, defendant told Dr. Ziporyn about his version of the events concerning Carter. Defendant stated that Carter made advances upon him, and that he had to defend himself with violence. Dr. Ziporyn did not believe that defendant's story was truthful. However, he did not find defendant to be deliberately or consciously attempting to fake a mental or other illness.

Dr. Ziporyn's analysis of the results of the exam indicated that defendant engaged in defense mechanisms to handle his unacceptable strong homosexual desires. Defendant utilized the defense mechanism of projection, whereby he ascribed feelings he did not like about himself to others and transferred blame to those others. Dr. Ziporyn believed that defendant's problems existed since his childhood, and that he still had the problems. Defense counsel posed a hypothetical to the psychiatrist based upon all the relevant facts of this case. Based upon those facts, Dr. Ziporyn opined that defendant was suffering from a mental disease at the time of the incident which prevented him from appreciating the criminality of his conduct and from conforming his conduct to the requirements of the law. The psychiatrist's diagnosis was that defendant was then suffering from a paranoid state, a psychotic condition which involves heavy utilization of projection. Dr. Ziporyn believed defendant's suicide attempts were not a symptom of paranoia, but were the manifestation of the defense mechanism of introjection, whereby anger is turned inward against oneself. Introjection is usually seen hand-in-hand with projection. Paranoid individuals can also be expected to show signs of depression. Dr. Ziporyn's findings were inconsistent with a diagnosis that defendant was a sociopath, because defendant's actions evidenced pathology. It is not inconsistent for a paranoid person to engage in some rational behavior.

On cross-examination, Dr. Ziporyn admitted that two examiners could reach different conclusions concerning the same subject. The psychiatrist also stated that he had testified in criminal cases about 20 times in the prior year, more than half of the time for the State, though never for the State in Cook County proceedings. In 45-50% of the cases, Dr. Ziporyn testified that the person was insane. He stated that it ...


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