People v. Lardner

Decision Date22 December 1921
Docket NumberNo. 14127.,14127.
Citation133 N.E. 375,300 Ill. 264
PartiesPEOPLE v. LARDNER.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Error to Criminal Court, Cook County; William E. Dever, Judge.

William Lardner was convicted of attempt to commit larceny, and he brings error.

Reversed and remanded.

See, also, 296 Ill. 190, 129 N. E. 697.

Short & Guenther and Charles P. R. Macaulay, all of Chicago, for plaintiff in error.

Edward J. Brundage, Atty. Gen., Robert E. Crowe, State's Atty., of Chicago, and George C. Dixon, of Dixon (Edward E. Wilson, Clyde C. Fisher, and Henry T. Chace, Jr., all of Chicago, of counsel), for the People.

CARTWRIGHT, J.

The plaintiff in error, William Lardner, was indicted in the criminal court of Cook county and in the first count of the indictment was charged with larceny of five hand bags of the value of $25 each, the property of Harry Morris and John P. Mann, partners doing business as Morris, Mann & Reilly, and in the second count was charged with receiving the same property knowing that it had been stolen. A trial resulted in a verdict finding him guilty of an attempt to commit larceny and finding the value of the property to be $125 and his age about 26 years. The court overruled motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment and sentenced him to imprisonment in the penitentiary.

On the trial the evidence for the people was to the following effect: The defendant entered the store of Morris, Mann & Reilly and took five beaded hand bags from a showcase and put them in the pocket of his overcoat, which he was carrying on his arm. He did not appear to be doing anything and was accosted by one of the salesmen, who asked him if he was waited on, and he replied that he was waiting for one of the salesmen, whose name he gave. One of the employees said, in the presence of the defendant, that he was the man whom they had complaints about being in the place. He became indignant and gave an assumed name, and said that he had a store and that was no way to treat a customer and the would not buy any more goods. He left the store, and about 10 or 15 minutes afterward his overcoat was found lying on a showcase about six feet from the one from which the beaded bags had been taken, and they were found in the pocket inside of the overcoat. The defendant testified that the overcoat did not belong to him, and that he did not take the bags from the showcase or put them in the overcoat.

The question raised by an assignment of error, and the argument in support of it, are that the evidence for the people only tended to prove the completed offense of larceny, and therefore there could be no conviction for an attempt to commit the crime resulting in a failure. The defendant was indicted for larceny, which is defined by section 167 of division 1 of the Criminal Code (Hurd's Rev. St. 1919, c. 38) as the felonious stealing, taking, and carrying, leading, riding, or driving away the personal goods of another. He was found guilty of an attempt to commit larceny under section 1 of division 2 of the Criminal Code (Hurd's Rev. St. c. 38, § 273), which prescribes punishment of ‘whoever attempts to commit any offense prohibited by law, and does any act towards it but fails, or is intercepted or prevented in its execution.’

The essential elements of larceny are a felonious taking by which the owner is deprived of possession, and the thief acquires such possession for an appreciable period of time, although it may be only for a moment. An attempt to commit larceny is the unfinished crime. The essentials of the attempt are the intent to commit the crime, the performance of some overt act towards its commission, and a failure to consummate the crime. Whenever one intending to commit the crime of larceny does an act toward it, but is intercepted, or some accident intervenes so that he fails to accomplish what he intended, it is an attempt within the statute. If there is such intent and an endeavor to accomplish the crime by some act falling short of the execution of the ultimate design, it constitutes, the attempt. Patrick v. People, 132 Ill. 529, 24 N. E. 619;Scott v. People, 141 Ill. 195, 30 N. E. 329. A failure to consummate the crime is as much an essential element of an attempt as the intent and the performance of an overt act toward its commission.

Evidence that a crime has been committed will not sustain a verdict for an attempt to commit it, because the essential element of interception or prevention of execution is lacking. Graham v. People, 181 Ill. 477, 55 N. E. 179,47 L. R. A. 731;People v. Purcell, 269 Ill. 467, 109 N. E. 1007;United States v. Quincy, 6 Pet. 464, 8 L. Ed. 458; 1 Wharton on Crim. Law, § 173; 16 Corpus Juris, 113. When an indictment charges an offense which...

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40 cases
  • U.S. v. York
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • August 23, 1978
    ......Gallegos, 1975, 193 Neb. 651, 228 N.W.2d 615 (conviction for attempt to burgle although burglary was completed); People v. Johnson, 1971, 21 Cal.App.3d 235, 98 Cal.Rptr. 393 (conviction for attempt to obliterate the manufacturing number on a revolver although ...State, 1973, 8 Div. 233, 51 Ala.App. 352, 285 So.2d 516 (dictum); Lewis v. People, 1951, 124 Colo. 62, 235 P.2d 348; People v. Lardner, 1921, 300 Ill. 264, 133 N.E. 375. The rule in Illinois has subsequently been changed by statute and now conviction for attempt is permitted ......
  • Lakeysha P., In re, s. 1447
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1994
    ...... The offense is typically committed by young people, and the car is generally recovered undamaged. Such behavior would not amount to larceny, which, as traditionally defined, requires proof that the ...4.14, citing People v. Lardner, 300 Ill. . Page 442 . 264, 267, 133 N.E. 375, 19 A.L.R. 721 (1921), where a conviction for an "attempt to commit larceny" was [665 A.2d 284] ......
  • Boone v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 28, 1967
    .......         In Stein v. People of State of New York, 346 U.S. 156, 73 S.Ct. 1077, 97 L.Ed.2d 1522 (1953), Appellants attacked the New York procedure under which if a fair question ...4.14, citing People v. Lardner, 300 Ill. 264, 267, 133 N.E. 375, 19 A.L.R. 721 (1921), where a conviction for an 'attempt to commit larceny' was reversed upon facts which showed ......
  • State v. Spears, 050432456; A132447.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • November 12, 2008
    ......As they checked under other trailers, one of the officers spotted the legs of two people under another trailer—and, ultimately, after repeated demands to come out, defendant and another man emerged from beneath that trailer. Defendant ...den., 376 So.2d 793 (Ala.Cr. App. 1979) (immaterial how short the distance the chattel was moved); People v. Lardner, 300 Ill. 264, 267, 133 N.E. 375, 376 (1921) (taking goods and putting into convenient place for removal is the taking of property, even if detected ......
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3 books & journal articles
  • § 27.02 GENERAL PRINCIPLES
    • United States
    • Carolina Academic Press Understanding Criminal Law (CAP) 2018 Title Chapter 27 Attempt
    • Invalid date
    .... E.g., Cal. Penal Code § 664 ("Every person who attempts to commit any crime, but fails, . . . is punishable."); People v. Lardner, 133 N.E. 375, 376 (Ill. 1921) ("The essentials of the attempt are the intent to commit the crime, the performance of some overt act towards its commission, an......
  • § 27.02 General Principles
    • United States
    • Carolina Academic Press Understanding Criminal Law (CAP) 2022 Title Chapter 27 Attempt
    • Invalid date
    ...E.g., Cal. Penal Code § 664 ("Every person who attempts to commit any crime, but fails, . . . is punishable."); People v. Lardner, 133 N.E. 375, 376 (Ill. 1921) ("The essentials of the attempt are the intent to commit the crime, the performance of some overt act towards its commission, and ......
  • TABLE OF CASES
    • United States
    • Carolina Academic Press Understanding Criminal Law (CAP) 2018 Title Table of Cases
    • Invalid date
    ...People v., 331 N.W.2d 171 (Mich. 1982), 304, 306 LaPierre v. State, 734 P.2d 997 (Alaska Ct. App. 1987), 502 Lardner, People v., 133 N.E. 375 (Ill. 1921), 357 Larson, State v., 103 P.3d 524 (Mont. 2004), 127 Lasko, People v., 999 P.2d 666 (Cal. 2000), 501 Laughner v. State, 769 N.E.2d 1147 ......

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