171 N.E.2d 17 (Ill. 1960), 35748, People v. Lynumn

Docket Nº:35748.
Citation:171 N.E.2d 17, 21 Ill.2d 63
Party Name:PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Defendant in Error, v. Beatrice LYNUMN, Plaintiff in Error.
Case Date:December 01, 1960
Court:Supreme Court of Illinois

Page 17

171 N.E.2d 17 (Ill. 1960)

21 Ill.2d 63

PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Defendant in Error,


Beatrice LYNUMN, Plaintiff in Error.

No. 35748.

Supreme Court of Illinois.

December 1, 1960.

Rehearing Denied Jan. 18, 1961.

Page 18

[21 Ill.2d 65] Westbrooks, Holman & E. F. Johnson, Chicago (Claude W. B. Holman, Evelyn F. Johnson, and Russell R. DeBow, Chicago, of counsel), for plaintiff in error.

William L. Guild, Atty. Gen., and Benjamin S. Adamowski, State's Atty., Chicago (Fred G. Leach, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Francis X. Riley and Edward J. Hladis, Asst. State's Attys., Chicago, of counsel), for defendant in error.


Defendant, Beatrice Lynumn, was tried by the court without a jury in the criminal court of Cook County on the charge of the unlawful sale, dispensing and possession of narcotics. She was found guilty of the charge and sentenced to 10 to 11 years in the penitentiary. From this judgment, defendant has sued out this writ of error.

Page 19

Defendant contends that the indictment should have been quashed; a new trial should have been granted; and the evidence was insufficient to establish guilt.

We turn first to the contention that the indictment was insufficient. Defendant was indicted in three successive counts, with the unlawful sale, dispensing, and possession, 'otherwise than as authorized in the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act of said State of Illinois then in force and effect, a quantity (the exact quantity of which is unknown to said Grand [21 Ill.2d 66] Jurors) of a certain narcotic drug, to-wit: cannabis, sometimes called marijuana, contrary to the Statute.' Defendant argues that not all forms of cannabis are narcotic drugs, and the indictment must more specifically describe the type of cannabis involved. In support of this view, defendant cites People v. Sowrd, 370 Ill. 140, 18 N.E.2d 176, 119 A.L.R. 1396. The Sowrd case was decided under the particular language of a prior act (Ill.Rev.Stat.1935, chap. 91, par. 157) which was later amended. Ill.Rev.Stat.1957, chap. 38, par. 192.28-2.17. In People v. Yeargin, 3 Ill.2d 25, 119 N.E.2d 752, we fully considered the Sowrd case and the subsequent statutory changes, and held that the language, 'cannabis, sometimes called marijuana,' sufficiently alleges a narcotic drug as defined by statute. We regard that case as conclusive here.

We next turn to the trial itself. The manner of the arrest of defendant and the nature of the proof are not unusual in narcotic cases. On January 17, 1959, one Zeno was arrested by police officers, Sims, Bryson, and Kobar, for the sale of and possession of narcotics. While in custody he agreed to 'set somebody up' for the police. After phoning the defendant Lynumn, he went to her apartment with the three officers, and he was admitted. Zeno testified that he then gave defendant § 28 and she gave him a package wrapped in newspaper. After 10 to 15 minutes Zeno left and gave the package to the police who examined it, discovering a crushed green plant. He then called to defendant, and as she came out into the hallway officer Sims grabbed her and placed her under arrest. They then went into her apartment where they made a search and took the $28 from her. She then admitted that she sold the package to Zeno, after the police had promised to recommend leniency. At the suggestion of the police, she then made a call to one Weaver requesting a half pound of marijuana. In twenty minutes Weaver appeared with a package containing a green substance and he was arrested. A green substance, allegedly in the package given to Zeno by...

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