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01/30/87 the People of the State of v. Russell Franklin

January 30, 1987





504 N.E.2d 80, 115 Ill. 2d 328, 105 Ill. Dec. 211 1987.IL.99

Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. George Marovich, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE MILLER delivered the opinion of the court.


Following a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County, the defendant, Russell Franklin, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment. The appellate court affirmed the conviction in an unpublished order (130 Ill. App. 3d 1157), and we allowed the defendant's petition for leave to appeal.

The murder victim, Theodore Hawkins, was shot and killed in his apartment in Chicago during the evening of June 9, 1982. Three days later, on June 12, the defendant spoke to two Chicago police officers on the street concerning the murder; the defendant was a friend of the victim. The defendant accompanied the officers to Area 2 police headquarters, where he was questioned further by two detectives, O'Rourke and Rowan. The defendant agreed to take a polygraph examination the next day, June 13.

The defendant failed to appear for the scheduled polygraph examination, however, and around 5 o'clock that afternoon Detectives O'Rourke and Rowan went to the defendant's residence. The defendant gave several excuses for missing the appointment, and he went with the detectives to the police station to schedule another test, which was set for the following morning. The detectives questioned the defendant that evening, and they also took him to the victim's apartment. At some point the detectives asked or ordered the defendant to stay at the station overnight. The detectives left the defendant after midnight, and he spent the remainder of the night in an interview room.

The defendant was given the polygraph examination the next morning, June 14. The test was completed around noon, and the defendant was then returned to the police station where he had previously been held. Sometime after that, the defendant was given Miranda warnings and was told that the polygraph results indicated that he was not telling the truth. The defendant was questioned further that afternoon, and he eventually implicated himself in the murder, explaining that the victim was acting in an irrational and violent manner and was shot in a struggle for a gun. Following that statement, the defendant was again taken to the victim's apartment, and later that night the defendant gave a written confession to the crime.

The sole issue in this appeal is whether the defendant's statements should have been suppressed as the fruits of an illegal arrest. (See Brown v. Illinois (1975), 422 U.S. 590, 45 L. Ed. 2d 416, 95 S. Ct. 2254; Wong Sun v. United States (1963), 371 U.S. 471, 9 L. Ed. 2d 441, 83 S. Ct. 407.) In the circuit court the defendant moved to quash his arrest and to suppress his subsequent statements. The trial Judge denied the motion, concluding that the defendant voluntarily stayed overnight at the police station and voluntarily submitted to the polygraph examination the next day; the trial Judge believed that the defendant's confession was triggered by his being told that he had failed the test. The appellate court affirmed that ruling but relied on a somewhat different basis. The court found that the defendant's detention began the day before the polygraph examination, when he was told to stay overnight at the police station, and that the arrest was not supported by probable cause; the court went on to hold, however, that under Brown the defendant's inculpatory statements were sufficiently distinct from his illegal arrest to be free from the initial taint. The court noted that the defendant was advised of his Miranda rights on several occasions, that a delay occurred between the initial seizure and the defendant's eventual confession to the crime, that the defendant's failure of the polygraph test was an intervening circumstance, and that the police misconduct in this case was not flagrant.

The record demonstrates that the defendant received Miranda warnings on a number of occasions during his detention; the defendant was advised of his rights both before and after the polygraph examination, and before his inculpatory statements. It may be noted that the trial Judge denied a separate motion by the defendant to suppress his statements on the ground that they were coerced, and the defendant has not contested that ruling. The rule is well established, however, that the voluntariness of a defendant's statements does not automatically purge the taint of an illegal arrest and detention. (Lanier v. South Carolina (1985), 474 U.S. 25, 26, 88 L. Ed. 2d 23, 25, 106 S. Ct. 297, 298; People v. Townes (1982), 91 Ill. 2d 32, 39.) In Brown the defendant made inculpatory statements in the wake of an illegal arrest, and the Supreme Court rejected the argument that the giving of Miranda warnings necessarily purged the taint. The court explained:

"The Miranda warnings are an important factor, to be sure, in determining whether the confession is obtained by exploitation of an illegal arrest. But they are not the only factor to be considered. The temporal proximity of the arrest and the confession, the presence of intervening circumstances, [citation], and, particularly, the purpose and flagrancy of the official misconduct are all relevant. [Citation.] The voluntariness of the statement is a threshold requirement. [Citation.] And the burden of showing admissibility rests, of course, on the prosecution." (Brown v. Illinois (1975), 422 U.S. 590, 603-04, 45 L. Ed. 2d 416, 427, 95 S. Ct. 2254, 2261-62.)

In this case, the appellate court correctly noted that under Brown the defendant's statements could not be used as evidence if they were obtained by an exploitation of the invalid arrest rather than by means sufficiently purged of the taint. Later cases have reaffirmed this view.

In support of the appellate court the State urges several circumstances that it believes operated to attenuate the taint of the defendant's invalid arrest. The State first argues that the polygraph examination was an intervening circumstance that operated to attenuate the taint of the illegal arrest and detention. Sometime after the defendant took the polygraph examination he was told that he had failed it, and he then said that he wanted to tell the truth about the offense. The State argues that the defendant's confrontation with the test results, apparently prompting his confession, was an intervening circumstance that served to attenuate the taint of the invalid arrest. Under this theory, there was ...

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