APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION
535 N.E.2d 1082, 180 Ill. App. 3d 372, 129 Ill. Dec. 317 1989.IL.283
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Michael P. Toomin, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court. EGAN, P.J., and HARTMAN, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BILANDIC
Defendant, Erskin Melchor, a former Chicago police officer, was charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance. After a jury trial, defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Defendant was previously tried and convicted of the same offense. That conviction was reversed and remanded for a new trial because of improper use of an unauthenticated transcript of a tape recording. (People v. Melchor (1985), 136 Ill. App. 3d 708, 483 N.E.2d 971.) At the new trial, the prosecution corrected its previous errors and successfully introduced a series of recordings incriminating the defendant.
On appeal, the defendant does not complain about this particular evidence or the sufficiency of the evidence of guilt. However, defendant seeks a new trial on the grounds that the trial court denied him a fair trial by refusing to give the jury an "informer" instruction tendered by defense counsel and, in the alternative, a remand for a hearing pursuant to Batson v. Kentucky (1986), 476 U.S. 79, 90 L. Ed. 2d 69, 106 S. Ct. 1712, to determine if the prosecution used its peremptory challenges in a discriminatory manner.
During the jury selection, the State excused a total of eight jurors. Defendant objected to the State's exclusions, noting that six of the potential jurors were black. The court made inquiries of the State regarding each of the six complained-of exclusions. The State related specific reasons which did not involve race and called the court's attention to the fact that four of the jurors accepted and one alternate were black. The State also exercised a peremptory challenge to excuse a potential alternate juror who was white. The court overruled defendant's objection and the case proceeded to trial.
At trial, the evidence established that Gregory Grant made three controlled purchases of cocaine from the defendant while both were members of the Chicago police department. On April 16, 1982, a search warrant was executed at Grant's apartment, where cocaine, marijuana, and $15,000 in cash were confiscated. Later that day, Grant met with a representative of the State's Attorney and officials of the Internal Affairs Division of the Chicago police department. Grant agreed to cooperate with the authorities in their undercover investigations. The agreement included a guilty plea from Grant in June 1982, for selling cocaine, and a term of five years' probation in exchange for his truthful testimony in the numerous cases he had helped investigate regarding police officers selling cocaine. Grant continued to work as a police officer from April 16, 1982, until June 1982. He was placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program and given a new identity to insure his safety.
During the investigation, Grant had several conversations with defendant. The first conversation took place on April 20, 1982. Grant placed the phone call to defendant's telephone number from the State's Attorney's office. Sergeant Thomas Chandler, a Chicago police officer, was listening on an extension telephone. Grant then was given $500 and drove to defendant's apartment, where he bought one-eighth ounce of cocaine for $300. Grant then delivered the purchased cocaine and cash balance to the investigators.
The next phone call was placed to defendant's residence on April 22, 1982, from a pay phone near the Museum of Science and Industry. Pursuant to authorization, Grant was fitted with a tape recorder and transmitter. He was given $400. Grant then drove to defendant's apartment, where he purchased a bag of cocaine for $275. He delivered the bag of cocaine and the unused portion of the cash to the investigators.
On May 3, 1982, Grant again placed a call to defendant from the Museum of Science and Industry. He was equipped with a recorder and transmitter, and provided with $4,000. Grant drove to defendant's residence, where he purchased 31 1/2 grams of cocaine for $2,950. He delivered the cocaine and the remaining cash to the investigators.
It is not necessary to recite the detailed mechanics of the recording, authentication, transcription and introduction in evidence of the specific unlawful acts with which the defendant was charged. The State complied with all of the legal requirements for the introduction of this ...