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06/28/89 the People of the State of v. Darryl Brooks

June 28, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

DARRYL BROOKS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION

542 N.E.2d 64, 185 Ill. App. 3d 935, 134 Ill. Dec. 64 1989.IL.1009

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Dwight McKay, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE CERDA delivered the opinion of the court. FREEMAN, P.J., and WHITE, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE CERDA

The defendant, Darryl Brooks, was convicted after a jury trial for armed robbery and armed violence. The trial court vacated the armed robbery conviction and sentenced the defendant to an extended-term sentence of 50 years' imprisonment. The defendant now appeals his conviction, contending that the trial court improperly refused his challenge for cause during voir dire and erred in failing to give two jury instructions.

On the evening of August 10, 1983, Maurice Harris was sitting in his automobile outside the Andrews Temple of God in Christ Church in Harvey, Illinois, waiting to pick up his son from choir rehearsal. The defendant entered the vehicle through the front passenger door and placed a gun in Harris' ribs. After taking Harris' money, the defendant ordered Harris out of the car and drove away. On August 12, Officers Joseph and Watson of the Harvey police department observed the stolen vehicle and attempted to pull the car over after which a chase ensued. Shortly thereafter, the defendant was apprehended by an Officer Wells. Maurice Harris later identified the defendant as his assailant in a lineup.

Defendant first argues on appeal that his right to a fair and impartial jury was violated when the trial court denied his motion to excuse venireperson Marsha Bryant. During voir dire, after defense counsel accepted venireperson Marsha Bryant, the State sought further questioning regarding her opinion of police officers since her ex-husband was a police officer. New information was disclosed revealing a possible bias in favor of police officers when the following exchange occurred:

"THE COURT: Can you say to Mr. Laws and to Mr. Boyd and, particularly, the defendant Mr. Brooks, and to Ms. Cox and Mr. Cozzi on behalf of the people that you can give a fair and impartial trial? VENIREPERSON BRYANT: I can.

THE COURT: All right. I'll tender now to the defense Marsha Bryant.

MR. LAWS: Thank you, your Honor. Judge, the defense finds the entire acceptable and will tender them to the State.

MR. COZZI: Thank you. Your Honor, if it please the court, Judge, I would ask that Ms. Bryant be inquired of that because of her association and experiences with her husband -- her ex-husband, excuse me, would she find an officer any more or less credible because of those experiences and associations.

THE COURT: Ms. Bryant, generally, the question is asked when policemen are going to testify in a proceeding as to whether or not a person would believe a man solely because he is a policeman as opposed to the testimony of a civilian. Would they give the testimony of a policeman more credit or more weight or, however you want to phrase it, solely because the man is a policeman. Do ...


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