People v. Deems, 52414

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Citation43 Ill.Dec. 8,410 N.E.2d 8,81 Ill.2d 384
Docket NumberNo. 52414,52414
Parties, 43 Ill.Dec. 8 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Donald L. DEEMS, Appellant.
Decision Date30 May 1980

Page 8

410 N.E.2d 8
81 Ill.2d 384, 43 Ill.Dec. 8
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee,
Donald L. DEEMS, Appellant.
No. 52414.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
May 30, 1980.
Rehearing Denied Sept. 26, 1980.

[81 Ill.2d 386]

Page 9

[43 Ill.Dec. 9] Robert J. Agostinelli, Deputy State Appellate Defender and G. Joseph Weller, Assistant State Appellate Defender, Ottawa, for appellant.

William J. Scott, Atty. Gen., Chicago and Michael Mihm, State's Atty., Peoria (Donald B. Mackay, Melbourne A. Noel, Jr., Asst. Attys. Gen., Chicago, and M. Anita Donath, Asst. Atty. Gen., Elmhurst, of counsel), for the People.


On grounds of double jeopardy the circuit court of Peoria County dismissed theft charges against the defendant, Donald L. Deems. The appellate court reversed (74 Ill.App.3d 543, 30 Ill.Dec. 250, 392 N.E.2d 118), and we granted leave to appeal.

The history of this case may well be unique. Originally defendant was indicted for knowingly receiving stolen property in violation of section 16-1(d)(1) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill.Rev.Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 16-1(d) (1)). On the date set for trial, approximately three months after indictment, the State moved to dismiss the charges. The State's Attorney conceded in open court that [81 Ill.2d 387] the defendant was not guilty of receiving stolen property but indicated that he would seek an indictment against the defendant for theft (Ill.Rev.Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 16-1(a)) and be ready for trial thereon within a week.

Despite the State's admission that the defendant did not commit the offense with which he was charged and its motion to

Page 10

[43 Ill.Dec. 10] dismiss, the defendant demanded an immediate trial on the original charge. The trial judge, likening the State's motion to a request for a continuance, decided that the defendant was entitled to go to trial if he was prepared to do so. The prosecutor reiterated the State's admission that the defendant did not commit the offense of receiving stolen property and pointed out that the court's refusal to dismiss the charge would force the State to prosecute a man who was concededly innocent. The judge indicated he would prefer to dismiss the case with prejudice for want of prosecution but could not do so because the appellate court had held that a trial judge did not have that power. (People v. Thomas (1975), 24 Ill.App.3d 907, 322 N.E.2d 97.) He therefore decided to call the case for trial and acquit the defendant. The defendant accordingly waived jury trial, and neither party made an opening statement. When the trial judge called for the witnesses, only the defendant was sworn and he did not testify. The State indicated it had no witnesses to call. The court then found the defendant not guilty and entered its judgment acquitting him. A subsequent indictment for theft was dismissed on double jeopardy grounds. The State appealed, seeking reversal of both the acquittal and the dismissal, and the appellate court reversed both.

It is contended by defendant that the original trial court proceedings placed him in jeopardy and that the "acquittal" by the trial judge bars his prosecution for theft under the double jeopardy clauses of the Federal and State constitutions (U.S.Const., Amend. V; Ill.Const. 1970, art. I, sec. 10). It is, however, entirely clear to us that defendant[81 Ill.2d 388] has not yet been subjected to jeopardy, much less double jeopardy. The fundamental notion embodied in the double jeopardy clause has been emphasized frequently.

" 'The underlying idea, one that is deeply ingrained in at least the Anglo-American system of jurisprudence, is that the State with all its resources and power should not be allowed to make repeated attempts to convict an individual for an alleged offense, thereby subjecting him to embarrassment, expense and ordeal and compelling him to live in a continuing state of anxiety and insecurity, as well as enhancing the possibility that even though innocent he may be...

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  • Gonzalez v. Justices of Municipal Court
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • August 19, 2004
    ... ... See Newman v. United States, 410 F.2d 259, 260 (D.C.Cir.1969) (per curiam); People v. Deems, 81 Ill.2d 384, 43 Ill.Dec. 8, 410 N.E.2d 8, 11 (Ill.1980). This act is an affirmative step by the government into the trial—a step that ... ...
  • People v. Edwards
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    ... ... 910] The trial court thereafter found defendant Edwards not guilty and she was discharged ...         The State contends, under the foregoing circumstances, that defendant was not "put to trial" so as to have exposed her to jeopardy, relying upon People v. Deems (1980), 81 Ill.2d 384, 43 Ill.Dec. 8, 410 N.E.2d 8; People v. Shields (1979), 76 Ill.2d 543, 31 Ill.Dec. 784, 394 N.E.2d 1161; People v. Dellecarto (1978), 67 Ill.App.3d 490, 24 Ill.Dec. 35, 384 N.E.2d 902; and People v. Shick (1968), 101 Ill.App.2d 377, 243 N.E.2d 285. People v. Deems, supra, ... ...
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    ... ... Illinois v. Somerville (1973), 410 U.S. 458, 463 [93 S.Ct. 1066, 1070, 35 L.Ed.2d 425] * * *." (People v. Deems (1980), 81 Ill.2d 384, 388, 43 Ill.Dec. 8, 10, 410 N.E.2d 8, 10, cert. denied 450 U.S. 925, 101 S.Ct. 1378, 67 L.Ed.2d 355.) In Deems the court affirmed the appellate court judgment reversing a dismissal of a subsequent indictment on double jeopardy grounds and vacated a prior "acquittal" ... ...
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