People v. Flowers

Citation132 Ill.App.3d 939,88 Ill.Dec. 209,478 N.E.2d 524
Decision Date29 April 1985
Docket NumberNo. 84-0287,84-0287
Parties, 88 Ill.Dec. 209 PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Robert E. FLOWERS, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

James J. Doherty, Public Defender of Cook County, Chicago (Jeffrey M. Howard, Chicago, of counsel), for defendant-appellant.

Richard M. Daley, State's Atty. of Cook County, Chicago, (Michael E. Shabat, Mary Ellen Dienes, Frank S. Gildea, Chicago, of counsel), for plaintiff-appellee.

O'CONNOR, Justice:

Defendant Robert Flowers was charged by indictment with two counts of armed robbery. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 38, par. 18-2.) The indictment alleged that at approximately 10:45 p.m. on September 18, 1982, defendant robbed two women at knifepoint on the 1400 block of North Astor Street in Chicago, Illinois. Defendant is a black man and both victims were white.

Defendant's trial took place in the courthouse for the Second District of the Circuit Court of Cook County, located in Skokie, Illinois. Prior to jury selection, defense counsel made an oral motion to dismiss the venire based on an allegedly improper system of selecting venires which lead to an under-representation of blacks on venires in the Second District. No offer of proof was made and the trial judge denied the motion. Attorneys for both sides then excused the court reporter soon after the jury selection began. During the trial, defense counsel repeatedly commented that only white persons had been chosen to serve on defendant's jury; however, the jury cards were not preserved. After hearing the evidence, the jury found defendant guilty on both counts of armed robbery. Following a sentence hearing, defendant was sentenced to ten years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on each count with the terms to run concurrently.

Defendant contends on appeal that the system of selecting a venire for Second District cases violated his constitutional right to a jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community. He alleges that potential jurors are given a choice of serving their terms of jury duty at the Second District courthouse in Skokie. This so-called "personal choice" system, in defendant's opinion, results in an under representation of blacks on the venires because few blacks live in the "nearly all white northern portions of Cook County which make up the Second District" and other blacks summoned for jury duty would prefer not to travel the "long distances" from their homes to the Second District. As a result of this system, defendant claims that he was confronted with a venire selected in a racially discriminatory manner.

Defendant does not attack the statutory method of jury selection which under Illinois law must be accomplished by chance. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 78, pars. 8, 20 and 32.1.) Hence, his reliance on Duren v. Missouri (1979), 439 U.S. 357, 99 S.Ct. 664, 58 L.Ed.2d 579, and Taylor v. Louisiana (1975), 419 U.S. 522, 95 S.Ct. 692, 42 L.Ed.2d 690, is misplaced since both involved challenges to statutes. Here, defense counsel alleged that some unknown person in the Cook County Jury Commissioner's office informed him that it was the practice of the Cook County Jury Commission to assign people summoned for jury duty to the Second District based upon where the juror lived. However, he neither made an offer of proof nor presented any evidence to substantiate his claim that the Jury Commissioner improperly injected geographical considerations into the system of assigning potential jurors. Absent any evidence to the contrary, we must presume that the Cook County Jury Commission properly performed its duties. See, People v. Beacham (1980), 87 Ill.App.3d 457, 467-68, 43 Ill.Dec. 87, 410 N.E.2d 87, appeal denied, 81 Ill.2d 594.

In support of his contention, defendant now asks us to take judicial notice of 1980 federal census statistics showing the proportionate presence of blacks in the total population of Cook County and in the municipalities comprising the Second District. This data was not offered into evidence at trial and defendant's motion to supplement the record on appeal with this information was denied. The State's motion, which was taken with the case, to strike defendant's brief because of its reliance on the federal census statistics is now denied.

While the failure to offer these statistics into evidence at trial does not preclude our taking judicial notice, (Island Lake Water Co. v. Illinois Commerce Commission (1978), 65 Ill.App.3d 853, 857, 22 Ill.Dec. 445, 382 N.E.2d 835; People v. Walker (1978), 59 Ill.App.3d 192, 205, 16 Ill.Dec. 736, 375 N.E.2d 843, appeal denied, 71 Ill.2d 613) they do not aid defendant's cause. It is well established that, in the absence of evidence as the method by which the venire was selected, statistics relating to the percentage of blacks in the county are insufficient to make out a prima facie case of systematic and deliberate exclusion of blacks. (People v. Cross (1968), 40 Ill.2d 85, 87-88, 237 N.E.2d 437, appeal...

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9 cases
  • People v. Fomond
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • June 30, 1995
    ...... See 725 ILCS 5/114-3 (West 1993); People v. Johnson (1987), 154 Ill.App.3d 301, 107 Ill.Dec. 515, 507 N.E.2d 179 (finding waiver when the defendants did not support their written motions with affidavits); People v. Flowers (1985), 132 Ill.App.3d 939, 88 Ill.Dec. 209, 478 N.E.2d 524 (holding that the defendant's oral motion challenging the venire was insufficient to preserve the issue for review); People v. Perry (1980), 81 Ill.App.3d 422, 37 Ill.Dec. 170, 401 N.E.2d 1263 (holding that an oral challenge to the venire ......
  • People v. Johnson, s. 84-0783
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • April 9, 1987
    ...improper selection method. Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 114-3(b); Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 78, par. 35; People v. Flowers (1985), 132 Ill.App.3d 939, 942, 88 Ill.Dec. 209, 478 N.E.2d. 524, appeal denied, 107 Ill.2d (44), 91 Ill.Dec. 399, 483 N.E.2d 885; People v. Beacham (1980), 87 Ill.App......
  • People v. Clark, 2-87-0056
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • April 7, 1988
    ...... People v. White (1985), 134 Ill.App.3d 262, 89 Ill.Dec. 115, 479 N.E.2d 1121; People v. Flowers (1985), 132 Ill.App.3d 939, 88 Ill.Dec. 209, 478 N.E.2d 524; see also People v. Johnson (1987), 154 Ill.App.3d 301, 107 Ill.Dec. 515, 507 N.E.2d 179; People v. Perry (1980), 81 Ill.App.3d 422, 37 Ill.Dec. 170, 401 N.E.2d 1263. .         [173 Ill.App.3d 453] Defendant's final contention ......
  • People v. Smith
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • December 10, 1985
    ...... We find that defendant has failed to establish that the State discriminatorily excluded blacks from the jury. See People v. Flowers (1985), 132 Ill.App.3d 939, 88 Ill.Dec. 209, 478 N.E.2d 524. .         Defendant's third objection is that the prosecutors made prejudicial comments during opening and closing arguments. However, defendant failed to object with specificity in his post-trial motion to all but two of these ......
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