People v. Hudson, 71144

Decision Date18 November 1993
Docket NumberNo. 71144,71144
Citation157 Ill.2d 401,193 Ill.Dec. 128,626 N.E.2d 161
Parties, 193 Ill.Dec. 128 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Renaldo HUDSON, Appellant.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

Charles M. Schiedel, Deputy Defender, and Timothy M. Gabrielsen, Asst. Defender, Office of State Appellate Defender, Springfield, for appellant.

Roland W. Burris, Atty. Gen., Springfield, and Jack O'Malley, State's Atty., Chicago (Terence M. Madsen, Asst. Atty. Gen., Chicago, and Renee Goldfarb and Christine Cook, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel), for the People.

Justice BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court:

On June 13, 1983, defendant, Renaldo Hudson, was charged by indictment in Cook County with four counts of murder (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)), armed robbery (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 18-2), unlawful restraint (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 10-3), aggravated arson (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 20-1.1), residential burglary (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 19-3), two counts of home invasion (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 12-11), and three counts of armed violence (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 33A-2). At the conclusion of defendant's trial in 1985, a mistrial was declared when the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. Following defendant's unsuccessful interlocutory appeal, the cause was remanded for a new trial. People v. Hudson (1987), 171 Ill.App.3d 1029, 122 Ill.Dec. 24, 526 N.E.2d 164.

On remand, defendant was convicted of murder (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)), armed robbery (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 18--2), and aggravated arson (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 20-1.1). The same jury that convicted defendant found that he was eligible for the death penalty under section 9-1(b)(6) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 9-1(b)(6)). After the jury found no mitigating factors sufficient to preclude the imposition of the death penalty, the trial court accordingly sentenced defendant to death. Defendant's death sentence was stayed (134 Ill.2d R. 609(a)) pending direct appeal to this court (Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, § 4(b); 134 Ill.2d R. 603).

On appeal, defendant raises numerous issues which can be generally categorized as errors concerning: jury selection, improper cross-examination of the psychiatrist who testified on behalf of defendant, improper prosecutorial remarks regarding defendant's insanity defense, the admission of defendant's confession, the absence of material witnesses to the confession, improper closing arguments, jury instructions, and whether he was deprived of a fair sentencing hearing. In addition, defendant challenges the constitutionality of the Illinois death penalty statute. We shall expand upon each allegation of error as required in the course of this opinion.


The State presented the following evidence at defendant's trial. Prior to his death, the victim, 71-year-old Folke Peterson, had lived in apartment 303 at 7458 South Kingston in Chicago. Defendant lived in apartment 404 in the same building together with his father and aunt, Leola Wilson. In his confession, defendant indicated that he learned from his father, who performed janitorial duties in the building, that the victim had a light fixture in his apartment that needed repair. On the evening of June 6, 1983, defendant decided to rob the victim. Defendant devised a plan to enter the victim's apartment under the pretense of fixing the broken light. Defendant brought rope with him so that he could tie up the victim.

Around 7 p.m., defendant knocked on the door of the victim's apartment. The victim admitted him into the apartment and asked defendant to fix the light. As defendant stood on a chair and pretended to fix the light, he asked the victim for a tool. While the victim's back was turned, defendant attacked him from behind and caught him in a choke hold. Defendant then stabbed the victim in the abdomen, and slashed him from his waistline to his throat. He then proceeded to repeatedly stab the victim in the shoulder and the neck.

As the victim lay on his bed bleeding, defendant asked him for money. The victim gave him four single blood-soaked dollar bills. Defendant asked for more money, and the victim told him to look in a gold jewelry box on the dresser. After defendant was unable to locate the jewelry box, the victim tried to get up to show it to him; however, he was bleeding too profusely to move by that time. Nonetheless, the victim continually told defendant to take anything he had, as he pleaded with him not to kill him. Defendant searched for the jewelry box for three hours to no avail. Finally, he turned on the television and sat down on After the victim finally died around 3:30 a.m., defendant decided to make it look as though a burglary had occurred by ransacking the apartment. He then decided to set the apartment on fire. First, he stuffed paper around the victim's body. He then tore apart a foam rubber pillow and placed it in different parts of the apartment and on the bed with the victim. By that time, it was almost 5 a.m., and defendant defendant realized that his father would soon be getting up and ready for work. Thus, after defendant prepared to set the victim's apartment on fire, he returned to his own apartment with various items in a brown plaid bag that he took from the victim. His jacket was spotted with the victim's blood, so he took it off and stuffed it into a bag which he hid behind the couch in his apartment.

[193 Ill.Dec. 135] the bed next to the victim as he watched him die. At approximately 1 a.m., defendant became irritated at the victim for continually repeating a German word. Although the victim was near death, defendant continued to repeatedly stab and torture him because he figured that an attempted murder charge was just as serious as a murder charge.

When his father left for work, defendant returned to the apartment and set the victim's body and apartment on fire. He then returned to his own apartment. His aunt remarked that she smelled smoke, and insisted that they go down to the victim's apartment. When the victim did not answer the door, they called the fire department.

On the morning of June 7, 1983, at approximately 7 o'clock, Detective Michael Porchordo responded to a call to investigate a death and arson at 7458 South Kingston. Accompanied by his partner, Detective Catherine Reardon, the officers found the victim's apartment in complete disarray. The victim's mutilated and partially burned body was lying on the bed, with five severe, deep lacerated wounds extending from his waistline up to the upper torso of the chest. The victim had multiple stab wounds in his chest, face, and arms. His nose had been partially severed, and the entire left side of his throat had been cut from behind the ear to the thorax. The victim's left elbow and finger had also been partially severed. The shirt worn by the victim was ripped open, and the pants were water-soaked with the pockets pulled inside out.

Detective Reardon began to canvass the building for witnesses and additional information regarding the fire and death of the victim. Leola Wilson, defendant's aunt, approached Detective Reardon, and asked her to follow her back to her apartment. Wilson showed Detective Reardon old watches, several items of silverware, and a decanter brought into the apartment by defendant which purportedly belonged to the victim. Wilson also showed Detective Reardon a brown paper bag hidden behind a couch containing a jacket that appeared to be stained with blood. After Detective Reardon finished gathering information, defendant was asked to go to the police station for an interview.

After the officers twice confronted defendant with the victim's belongings found in defendant's apartment, defendant confessed to killing the victim. Assistant State's Attorney Michael Sherwin met with defendant and informed him of the Miranda warnings. A court-reported confession was given by defendant to Sherwin.

Dr. Edmund Donoghue, a Cook County medical examiner, performed an autopsy on the victim's body. Dr. Donoghue found 60 stab wounds on the victim's body, including numerous defensive injuries. In addition, the victim sustained two internal hemorrhage skull wounds which were unrelated to the numerous stab wounds.

The parties stipulated that the victim's and defendant's fingerprints were found on the metal tray recovered from defendant's apartment. Another stipulation indicated that the victim's blood was consistent with the blood found on defendant's pants, that the stain on defendant's jacket was human blood, and that a bloodstain on a swatch of the victim's bed linen was consistent with a ribbing pattern on the cuff of defendant's jacket.

Defendant attempted to establish the affirmative defense of insanity. Dr. Marvin Ziporyn, a psychiatrist, testified on defendant's behalf. Dr. Ziporyn testified that, at the time of the murder, defendant was suffering from bipolar disorder, a mental disease formerly known as manic-depressive illness. During the manic phase of this disorder, a person is excitable, distractible, agitated and impulsive. However, the depression phase consists of unhappiness so severe that it borders on being suicidal. He diagnosed defendant as suffering from bipolar disorder because defendant had a history of mood swings and depression. According to Dr. Ziporyn, analysis of the crime demonstrated defendant's erratic behavior, which was characteristic of bipolar disorder. Dr. Ziporyn opined that defendant appreciated the criminality of his conduct, but was unable to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law at the time he murdered the victim.

On cross-examination, the State questioned Dr. Ziporyn about the numerous times he testified on behalf of defendants in the past 10 years, his association with Richard Speck (a notorious serial murderer), his awareness of the fact...

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