People v. Lang

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Citation37 Ill.2d 75,224 N.E.2d 838
Docket NumberNo. 40013,40013
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Donald LANG, Appellant.
Decision Date29 March 1967

Page 838

224 N.E.2d 838
37 Ill.2d 75
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee,
Donald LANG, Appellant.
No. 40013.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
March 29, 1967.

[37 Ill.2d 76]

Page 839

Lowell J. Myers, Chicago, for appellant.

William G. Clark, Atty. Gen., Springfield, and Daniel P. Ward, State's Atty., Chicago (Fred G. Leach, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Elmer C. Kissane and James B. Zagel, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel), for appellee.

SCHAEFER, Justice.

On November 12, 1965, the defendant, Donald Lang, was indicted by the grand jury of Cook County for the crime of murder. The defendant is a deaf-mute who cannot hear or speak, was never taught to read or write or to use sign-language, and is unable to communicate with anyone in any language system. On December 15, 1965, the public defender was appointed to represent him and an order was entered directing that he be examined by the Behavior Clinic of Cook County. On January 5, 1966, Lowell J. Myers moved that he be appointed by the court to represent the defendant. Myers has had thirty years of experience in dealing with deaf-mute people and ten years of experience in representing deaf-mute people in legal matters. (See, Myers v. County of Cook, 34 Ill.2d 541, 216 N.E.2d 803.) The trial judge appointed Myers to represent the defendant and granted leave to the public defender to withdraw as his attorney.

The Behavior Clinic was directed to make a further investigation and the case was continued to January 20, 1966. [37 Ill.2d 77] On that date the defendant's attorney filed a petition requesting a hearing before a jury on the question of the defendant's physical competence to stand trial. At that hearing the defendant's attorney testified as to his own experience in representing deaf-mutes, and his inability to communicate with the defendant, and stated that the defendant did not know the charges against him and was unable to co-operate with an attorney. Dr. William H. Haines, Director of the Behavior Clinic, testified that he was unable to communicate with the defendant, and he diagnosed the defendant's case as 'mutism.' He testified also that in his opinion the defendant did not know the nature of the charge against him, and was unable to co-operate with his counsel. The defendant's attorney then tendered a directed verdict finding that the defendant 'was at the time of impaneling this Jury and is now physically incompetent to stand trial.' The court directed the jury to return that verdict and the case was continued.

On February 21, 1966, the prosecution requested the entry of an order directing that the defendant be taken from the county jail at 9:00 A.M. on February 23, and brought to Dr. Helmar R. Mykelbust, Director of the Institute of Language Disorders of Northwestern University, for an examination and a report by Dr. Mykelbust to the court as to the ability of Donald Lang to communicate with others. The defendant's attorney objected, stating that 'this is a matter that has already been passed upon by the jury' and 'an attempt to make a collateral attack on the jury's verdict.' He continued, 'However, if you do grant the motion, I would like that the order be modified to provide that I can be present at the proceeding, that examination,

Page 840


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12 cases
  • People v. Lang
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 20 Junio 1978
  • People v. Lang
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 1 Octubre 1986
  • People v. Lang
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 4 Septiembre 1984
  • United States ex rel. Wax v. Pate
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Illinois
    • 4 Diciembre 1967
    ......His conviction was affirmed by the Appellate Court for the Fourth District on September 26, 1966, in People v. Wax, 75 Ill.App.2d 163, 220 N.E.2d 600. The Illinois Supreme Court denied leave to appeal on January 18, 1967, and the Supreme Court of the United ...Cf. People v. Lang, 37 Ill.2d 75, 224 N.E.2d 838 (1967).         Defendant's argument that he could have consulted his lawyer and his lawyer an expert, does not ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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