Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. James

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 21, 1986.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,

v.

THOMAS RAY JAMES, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Fourth District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Vermilion County, the Hon. Paul M. Wright, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MILLER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

In separate jury trials, defendant Thomas James was found guilty of murder and attempted murder. The appellate court affirmed the murder conviction (82 Ill. App.3d 551), and in a Rule 23 order (87 Ill.2d R. 23) filed the same day, affirmed the conviction for attempted murder (81 Ill. App.3d 1202). Defendant petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari as to the murder conviction, alleging that police inquiries leading to his inculpatory statements had violated his rights under Miranda v. Arizona (1966), 384 U.S. 436, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602. The Supreme Court accepted defendant's petition, vacated the judgment, and remanded the case for reconsideration in light of Edwards v. Arizona (1981), 451 U.S. 477, 68 L.Ed.2d 378, 101 S.Ct. 1880. On remand, the appellate court reversed defendant's murder conviction and remanded the case for a new trial. 100 Ill. App.3d 986.

Contending that the inculpatory statements used against him at his trial for attempted murder were similarly obtained in violation of his constitutional rights under Miranda, defendant filed in the circuit court of Vermilion County a petition for relief under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, pars. 122-1 through 122-7). James also alleged in the petition that his appellate counsel was incompetent for failing to seek further review of James' conviction for attempted murder. The circuit court denied the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief without an evidentiary hearing. In a Rule 23 order (87 Ill.2d R. 23), the appellate court found Edwards inapplicable to the attempted-murder case, found no ineffective assistance of counsel, and affirmed the denial of relief. (127 Ill. App.3d 1172.) We accepted defendant's petition for leave to appeal (94 Ill.2d R. 315(a)) and affirm.

Defendant was arrested on May 17, 1978, and charged with the murder of David Holler and the attempted murder of Samuel Cartwright. While being transported to the police station, defendant was read his rights under Miranda v. Arizona (1966), 384 U.S. 436, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602, and said that he would like to talk to an attorney. At the station, the police again read defendant his Miranda rights. Although James' earlier request for an attorney had not been met, the police began to question him. The police halted the interrogation on a number of occasions; following many of these breaks, the police readvised defendant of his rights before resuming questioning. After making the initial request for counsel while being taken to the police station, however, James made no further mention of a desire to speak with an attorney. Subsequently, the defendant made incriminating statements to the police and to others about his participation in both the murder and the attempted murder.

In a hearing on defendant's motion to suppress his incriminating statements, the trial court found that the defendant had not clearly expressed a desire for an attorney, but had only inquired about counsel. Finding that James' statements had been made freely and voluntarily, the court ruled that defendant's post-detention statements would be admissible as evidence at trial.

Following a trial at which James' inculpatory statements were introduced into evidence, a jury found the defendant guilty of the attempted murder of Samuel Cartwright. The court sentenced James to 30 years' imprisonment. In a separate trial at which James' statements were also admitted, a jury found James guilty of the murder of David Holler, for which he was sentenced to a 40-year prison term. Both convictions were affirmed on appeal. 82 Ill. App.3d 551 (murder); 81 Ill. App.3d 1202 (Rule 23 order) (attempted murder).

Defendant's appellate counsel elected to challenge defendant's murder conviction by petitioning the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. Counsel maintained that James' inculpatory statements were improperly admitted at defendant's murder trial.

In a memorandum opinion filed May 26, 1981, the Supreme Court granted defendant's petition for writ of certiorari and vacated the judgment in the murder case. (451 U.S. 1014, 69 L.Ed.2d 386, 101 S.Ct. 3001.) The court remanded the case to the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, for reconsideration in light of the Supreme Court's decision announced eight days earlier in Edwards v. Arizona (1981), 451 U.S. 477, 68 L.Ed.2d 378, 101 S.Ct. 1880. On remand, the appellate court ruled that Edwards precluded the State from introducing the defendant's post-arrest statements into evidence, reversed James' murder conviction, and remanded the case for a new trial. (100 Ill. App.3d 986.) Nothing in the record, however, indicates why appellate counsel contested only the inculpatory statements used in defendant's murder trial; a finding that defendant had been deprived of his constitutional rights in that case would have rendered James' inculpatory statements similarly inadmissible in his trial for attempted murder.

Following the reversal of his murder conviction, the defendant filed a post-conviction petition for relief in his attempted-murder case under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, pars. 122-1 through 122-7). In his petition, James alleged that his rights under Edwards were violated by the State's use of his inculpatory statements at his trial for attempted murder, in the same way his rights had been violated by the use of his statements in the murder trial. James also argued that his appellate counsel's failure to seek discretionary review of his attempted-murder conviction in this court or the United States Supreme Court denied James the effective assistance of counsel.

The trial court denied defendant's request for an evidentiary hearing on his claims. The appellate court affirmed the denial, finding that Edwards was not applicable retroactively in a collateral attack on a conviction under the Supreme Court's recent decision in Solem v. Stumes (1984), 465 U.S. 638, 79 L.Ed.2d 579, 104 S.Ct. 1338. The appellate court also found that the defendant was not denied the effective assistance of counsel. We allowed defendant's petition for leave to appeal under Rule 315(a) (94 Ill.2d R. 315(a)).

In Edwards v. Arizona (1981), 451 U.S. 477, 68 L.Ed.2d 378, 101 S.Ct. 1880, the Supreme Court held that the use of a criminal defendant's confession, obtained by custodial interrogation, violates the defendant's fifth and fourteenth amendment rights if the accused's previous request for counsel was not observed. The court stated that after an accused invokes his right to counsel, the accused may not be further interrogated until counsel has been made available to him, unless the accused himself initiates further communication with the police.

Following its decision in Edwards, the Supreme Court remanded several cases, including the present defendant's murder conviction, for reconsideration in light of Edwards. (See Shea v. Louisiana (1985), 470 U.S. 51, 55 n. 3, 84 L.Ed.2d 38, 44 n. 3, 105 S.Ct. 1065, 1068 n. 3.) The court did not, however, expressly determine whether Edwards was applicable retroactively until its decision in Solem v. Stumes (1984), 465 U.S. 638, 79 L.Ed.2d 579, 104 S.Ct. 1338. In Solem, the court held that Edwards did not apply retroactively in a habeas corpus proceeding in the Federal courts where the petitioner's conviction had been affirmed by the South Dakota Supreme Court before Edwards was decided. The court explained that the Edwards rule bears only a tangential relation to truthfinding at trial, and therefore should not be given retroactive effect, under the principles established in Linkletter v. Walker (1965), 381 U.S. 618, 14 L.Ed.2d 601, 85 S.Ct. 1731. The court stated in Solem, "At a minimum, non-retroactivity means that a decision is not to be applied in collateral review of final convictions. For purposes of this case, that is all we need decide about Edwards." 465 U.S. 638, 650, 79 L.Ed.2d 579, 592, 104 S.Ct. 1338, 1345.

In Shea v. Louisiana (1985), 470 U.S. 51, 84 L.Ed.2d 38, 105 S.Ct. 1065, the Supreme Court held that its ruling in Edwards does apply to cases which were pending on direct appeal in a State court at the time Edwards was decided. The court distinguished cases on direct review from cases under collateral attack by noting the considerations of finality implicit in the judicial process. The court recognized that while a defendant seeking collateral review has already taken his case through the primary judicial proceedings, a defendant on direct review has not completed ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.