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11/07/88 the People of the State of v. Maurice Mays

November 7, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

MAURICE MAYS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION

532 N.E.2d 843, 176 Ill. App. 3d 1027, 127 Ill. Dec. 14 1988.IL.1613

Date Filed: November 7, 1988; Modified Opinion filed December 27, 1988.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas Hett, Judge, presiding.

Rehearing Denied December 20, 1988.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE BUCKLEY delivered the opinion of the court. CAMPBELL, P.J., and O'CONNOR, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BUCKLEY

Following a jury trial, Maurice Mays (defendant) was convicted of the murder of Alonza Douglas (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 9-1) and the attempted murders of police officers George Basile and Joseph L. DiGiacomo (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, pars. 8-4, 9-1) and sentenced to natural life imprisonment without parole. Defendant appeals his convictions and sentence, contending the following reversible errors: (1) the trial court erred in finding that defendant's pretrial statement was voluntary; (2) the State conducted improper cross-examination of the defense's expert witness at defendant's motion to suppress hearing; (3) the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to sever the murder and attempted murder counts; (4) the trial court erred in refusing to grant defendant's motion for a mistrial because of improper comments regarding defendant's parole and arrest record; (5) the trial court erred in sending to the jury room two guns found in defendant's friend's home at the time of his arrest; (6) the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt defendant's specific intent to kill; (7) the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was convicted of two prior Class X felonies to warrant a natural life sentence under the Habitual Criminal Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 33B-1 et seq.); (8) the Illinois mandatory life sentence statute was amended in violation of the Illinois Constitution; and (9) the State purposefully discriminated against blacks in the exercise of its peremptory challenges.

At trial, the State introduced the following evidence. Larome Cotton testified that on March 12, 1984, at approximately 6:30 p.m., while awaiting a CTA bus on the corner of 79th and Essex in Chicago, he heard a voice yell "[Don't] do it Mays [or Hays]" and recognized the voice as belonging to Alonza Douglas. Cotton then observed Douglas sitting in a car and defendant, whom he recognized from the neighborhood, standing outside the open car door. He thereafter saw defendant shoot Douglas three or four times and then abscond.

Chicago police officer George Basile testified that Douglas was pronounced dead on arrival at South Shore Hospital. Basile interviewed Cotton, who identified defendant as the shooter and gave Basile defendant's girlfriend's address as a possible location for defendant. At this address, Basile and his partners learned from Anita McDonnell that defendant could be found at his other girlfriend's home in Blue Island. On their arrival at the Blue Island address, Sharon Blair, the occupant of the apartment, denied that defendant was there and admitted Basile and DiGiacomo into her apartment.

The officers searched the apartment. Upon entering a bedroom, DiGiacomo observed two feet on top of a box inside the closet and then motioned for Basile to enter the room. Basile and DiGiacomo approached the closet. Basile reached out and pulled the closet doors open, at which time defendant, with gun in hand, extended his arm from the closet and fired at Basile and DiGiacomo. Basile and DiGiacomo returned fire and wounded defendant.

Officers at the scene recovered a gun from defendant, two other guns in another room of the apartment, and a tan, Western-style jacket, which Cotton identified as the coat defendant wore when he shot Douglas. Firearms examiner Robert Smith gave an opinion at trial that the gun recovered from defendant was the same gun that fired the shots which killed Douglas., Defendant did not testify at trial.

On appeal, defendant initially contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his pretrial statement. Defendant argues that his statement to police made from an intensive-care unit hospital bed within 12 hours of his receiving two gunshot wounds and three or four hours after receiving doses of Demerol and Valium was not voluntarily given. The finding of the trial court as to the voluntariness of a statement on a motion to suppress will not be disturbed unless it is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence. (People v. Daugherty (1987), 161 Ill. App. 3d 394, 397, 514 N.E.2d 228, 231; People v. Kincaid (1981), 87 Ill. 2d 107, 117-18, 429 N.E.2d 508, 512; People v. Prim (1972), 53 Ill. 2d 62, 70, 289 N.E.2d 601, 606.) With this standard in mind, we consider defendant's contention.

Defendant cites Townsend v. Sain (1963), 372 U.S. 293, 307, 9 L. Ed. 2d 770, 782, 83 S. Ct. 745, 754, for his assertion that to determine whether a confession is voluntary, the test is solely whether the statement was the product of defendant's rational intellect and free will. In Townsend, the Supreme Court found defendant's confession involuntary because his will was overcome at the time he gave his statement to police after taking a drug with truth-serum properties. For the following reasons, we find that defendant has incorrectly stated the test to determine whether a confession is obtained under circumstances violative of the fourteenth amendment.

The fourteenth amendment due process clause has long been held to place restraints on the admission of an accused's confession at his trial. (Brown v. Mississippi (1936), 297 U.S. 278, 80 L. Ed. 682, 56 S. Ct. 461.) Early Supreme Court cases indicated that the due process test, referred to as the "voluntariness requirement," excluded a confession where obtained under unfair circumstances affecting its reliability and where, although its reliability was not in question, the confession was obtained by offensive police practices. (Brown v. Mississippi (1936), 297 U.S. 278, 80 L. Ed. 682, 56 S. Ct. 461; Rogers v. Richmond (1961), 365 U.S. 534, 5 L. Ed. 2d 760, 81 S. Ct. 735; see 1 W. LaFave & J. Israel, Criminal Procedure § 6.2(b) (1984).) The later Supreme Court decision Townsend v. Sain (1963), 372 U.S. 293, 307, 9 L. Ed. 2d 770, 782, 83 S. Ct. 745, 754, appeared to extend the reach of the voluntariness requirement to situations where the confession was not the product of the defendant's "free and rational choice," even though the confession was not the result of police wrongdoing. (See 1 W. LaFave & J. Israel, Criminal Procedure § 6.2(b) (1984).) Illinois courts have so interpreted Townsend in cases involving the issue of the voluntariness of a statement by an accused under the effect of drugs. People v. Kincaid (1981), 87 Ill. 2d 107, 117-19, 429 N.E.2d 508, 511-12; People v. Koesterer (1976), 44 Ill. App. 3d 468, 479, 358 N.E.2d 295, 303-04; People v. Delgado (1975), 30 Ill. App. 3d 890, 893, 333 N.E.2d 633, 635; People v. Kelley (1973), 10 Ill. App. 3d 193, 195, 293 N.E.2d 158, 160.

The United States Supreme Court, however, has since denied that constitutional protection extends to confessions obtained without circumstances evincing police coercion. In Colorado v. Connelly (1986), 479 U.S. 157, 93 L. Ed. 2d 473, 107 S. Ct. 515, the Supreme Court held that a defendant's mental condition by itself does not dispose of the inquiry into constitutional voluntariness; that coercive police activity is a necessary predicate to the finding that a confession is not "voluntary" within the meaning of the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. (479 U.S. 157, 165, 167, 93 L. Ed. 2d 473, 483, 484, 107 S. Ct. 515, 520, 522.) In reviewing the history of Supreme Court cases in this area, the Court stated:

"[The] cases considered by this Court over the 50 years since Brown v. Mississippi have focused upon the crucial element of police overreaching. . . . Absent police conduct causally related to the confession, there is simply no basis for concluding that any state actor has deprived a criminal defendant of due process of law. . . . [Although] courts have found the mental condition of the defendant a more significant factor in the 'voluntariness' calculus [citation], . . . this fact does not justify a Conclusion that a defendant's mental condition, by itself and apart from its relation to official coercion, should ever dispose of the inquiry into constitutional 'voluntariness.'" (479 U.S. at 163-64, 93 L. Ed. 2d at 482, 107 S. Ct. at 520.)

The Court then concluded that Townsend did not deviate from this principle since it presented a situation of police wrongdoing, where a police physician had given Townsend the truth-serum drug and the subsequent confession was obtained by officers who knew that Townsend had been given the truth serum.

In applying these principles to the case before it, the Court found that the Colorado State court had erred in excluding a confession volunteered to police by a defendant who suffered from a psychosis that interfered with his ability to make free and rational choices since there was no indication from defendant or ...


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