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People v. Hickman

OPINION FILED MAY 9, 1986.

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

v.

DOUGLAS HICKMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Richland County; the Hon. Robert W. Whitmer, Judge, presiding.

PRESIDING JUSTICE KASSERMAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Richland County, defendant, Douglas Hickman, was convicted of the offense of murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)(1)). Defendant was sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment of 50 years (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, pars. 1005-5-3.2(b), 1005-8-2(a)(1)) and subsequently perfected the instant appeal.

Court-appointed appellate counsel filed a brief on defendant's behalf in the case at bar. In addition, this court granted defendant's request to file a pro se brief. The following issues are presented for review: (1) whether the State failed to prove defendant's sanity beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) whether the trial court erred in admitting into evidence certain allegedly involuntary statements made by defendant; (3) whether defendant was denied his right to effective assistance of counsel; (4) whether the trial court erred in sentencing defendant to an extended term of imprisonment of 50 years. We affirm.

The record contains the following undisputed evidence. During the afternoon of October 13, 1983, defendant, who was 34 years of age at the time of the trial, telephoned his former wife, Ann Hickman, and they agreed that they would have dinner together that evening. After defendant drove to Ms. Hickman's house and picked her up at approximately 6:45 p.m., they stopped at a restaurant to purchase food and returned to his apartment where they planned to spend the evening watching television. Later in the evening, defendant and Ms. Hickman disrobed and went into an upstairs bedroom. At that point, defendant strangled Ms. Hickman until she was dead. Defendant then telephoned certain individuals, stating that he had killed his former wife. One of these individuals telephoned an Olney police officer and related the details of her conversation with defendant. When three Olney police officers arrived at defendant's apartment at approximately 10:30 p.m., defendant informed them that Ms. Hickman was dead. After defendant consented to their request to search the premises, the officers observed Ms. Hickman's dead body lying in an upstairs bedroom.

Although defendant did not deny during the trial that he killed Ms. Hickman, he asserted that he was insane at the time of the offense. The jury, which was instructed that the State bore the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was sane, rejected the insanity defense and found the defendant guilty of murder.

• 1 Defendant initially argues on appeal that the State failed to prove his sanity beyond a reasonable doubt. Before examining the merits of this issue, however, we must address the State's argument that defendant had the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that he was insane and that the jury was improperly instructed that it was the State's burden to establish that defendant was sane at the time of the offense.

The affirmative defense of insanity was codified by section 6-2(a) of the Criminal Code of 1961, which provides:

"(a) A person is not criminally responsible for conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or mental defect, he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 6-2(a).)

Prior to a 1984 amendment of section 6, when a defendant introduced evidence of insanity, the State was required to prove his sanity beyond a reasonable doubt. (People v. Hollins (1985), 136 Ill. App.3d 1, 4, 482 N.E.2d 1053, 1055.) However, on January 1, 1984, Public Act 83-288 added section 6-2(e) to the Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 6-2(e)). This provision places the burden of proof upon a defendant to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he is not guilty by reason of insanity.

We recognize that the trial in the instant case commenced after January 1, 1984. Nevertheless, we reject the State's assertion that defendant bore the burden of proving his insanity by a preponderance of the evidence. A shift in the burden of proof relating to the insanity defense would be an ex post facto application of the statute if applied to the trial for an offense which was committed prior to the amendment to the law, such as in the instant case. (People v. Hollins (1985), 136 Ill. App.3d 1, 5, 482 N.E.2d 1053, 1055.) Furthermore, it was the State who tendered the jury instruction concerning the insanity defense in this case. Accordingly, we conclude that the State has waived its right to challenge the propriety of this instruction on appeal.

The following evidence was introduced concerning the insanity defense. Dr. David Siddens, a clinical psychologist who had briefly treated defendant prior to October 1983, testified that following the incident he or a member of his staff interviewed defendant for a total of approximately 30 hours, interviewed various members of defendant's family, and administered certain psychological tests to defendant. Based on these interviews and tests, Dr. Siddens diagnosed defendant as suffering from "paranoid schizophrenia, or paranoid psychosis." According to Dr. Siddens, a computer analysis of a certain test which Dr. Siddens administered to defendant indicated that defendant suffered from "alcoholism with psychotic organic brain syndrome" and was a "psychosis schizophrenia paranoid type with aggressive hostile behavior." Dr. Siddens explained that defendant's psychosis was "atypical" because he exhibited only four of the six criteria of schizophrenia.

Dr. Siddens testified as follows concerning defendant's mental illness. The illness commenced when defendant's mother emotionally abandoned him on or about his second birthday, September 30, 1951. This abandonment resulted from the severe emotional depression experienced by his mother following the deaths of defendant's handicapped infant brother and his maternal grandfather. As a result of his mother's conduct, defendant unconsciously developed inwardly directed feelings of rage toward his mother.

Defendant's mother became more depressed and relied primarily on defendant for emotional support following the 1975 suicide of defendant's father. On or about October 13, 1982, doctors determined that defendant's mother was suffering from amytrophic lateral sclerosis. His mother's condition steadily deteriorated until her death in July 1983.

Dr. Siddens further stated that in the period immediately prior to October 13, 1983, defendant became "more agitated" and his "thinking, reasoning, functioning, and mental balance became more * * * disturbed." According to Dr. Siddens, on that date, which was one year after defendant had learned that his mother was dying, defendant, acting out the "rage of a two-year old child," strangled Ms. Hickman. Dr. Siddens stated that in strangling Ms. Hickman, defendant was actually, albeit unconsciously, killing three individuals at one time: (1) his infant brother, whose death had led to the initial emotional abandonment by his mother; (2) his father, whose death had caused further abandonment; and (3) his mother, whose death was the final abandonment.

Dr. Siddens concluded that due to this mental disease, defendant was without substantial capacity to either appreciate the criminality of his actions or conform his conduct to the ...


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