238 N.E.2d 595 (Ill. 1968), 38666, People v. Duncan

Docket Nº:38666.
Citation:238 N.E.2d 595, 40 Ill.2d 105
Party Name:The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Defendant in Error, v. James Richard DUNCAN, Plaintiff in Error.
Case Date:May 29, 1968
Court:Supreme Court of Illinois

Page 595

238 N.E.2d 595 (Ill. 1968)

40 Ill.2d 105

The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Defendant in Error,


James Richard DUNCAN, Plaintiff in Error.

No. 38666.

Supreme Court of Illinois.

May 29, 1968.

William J. Cooney, Chicago, Appointed by the Court, for plaintiff in error.

[40 Ill.2d 106] William G. Clark, Atty. Gen., Springfield, and John J. Stamos, State's Atty., Chicago (Fred G. Leach, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Elmer C. Kissane and James R. Truschke, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel), for defendant in error.

HOUSE, Justice.

A jury in the circuit court of Cook County found defendant, James Richard Duncan, guilty of the murder of Samuel Schwartz and fixed his punishment at imprisonment for a term of 30 years. A constitutional question gives us jurisdiction.

About 10:00 P.M. on October 4, 1959, Samuel Schwartz, a 15-year-old boy, was stabbed and killed on the elevated platform of the Chicago Transit Authority at 22nd Street and State Street in Chicago. There were no witnesses to the murder. The People's evidence connecting defendant with the crime was the testimony of two boys,

Page 596

Carl Remmer and Louis Mayberry, who said that shortly after 10:00 P.M. on that night they saw defendant at 2222 South State Street and he told them he had just killed a 'stud' on the 22nd Street elevated station a few minutes before and produced the knife he used. A written confession given to the police on November 12, 1959, was also admitted in evidence.

Defendant denied making an oral confession to the youths who testified for the People and said that the written confession to the police was coerced. He said he was at a dance from 8:30 P.M. until midnight on the night of the murder. Six other youths corroborated his alibi. However, four teenage girls testified that defendant was at the elevated station shortly before the murder, although two of the girls on cross-examination could not fix the time they had seen defendant.

Defendant first argues that his written confession was coerced by the police officers. He testified that on October 9 he was taken to the police station with other boys from [40 Ill.2d 107] his housing project and questioned about the murder from about 5 P.M. until 10 P.M. and on October 17 he was again taken to the police station and questioned about the murder for about 3 or 4 hours. On October 21 defendant was arrested for disorderly...

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