People v. Payne, 56907

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Citation75 Ill.Dec. 643,457 N.E.2d 1202,99 Ill.2d 135
Docket NumberNo. 56907,56907
Parties, 75 Ill.Dec. 643 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellant, v. Stanley PAYNE, Appellee.
Decision Date01 December 1983

Page 1202

457 N.E.2d 1202
99 Ill.2d 135, 75 Ill.Dec. 643
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellant,
Stanley PAYNE, Appellee.
No. 56907.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
Dec. 1, 1983.

James J. Doherty, Public Defender of Cook County, Chicago, for appellee; Kathleen O'Donovan, Ira Churgin, Robert P. Isaacson, Aaron L. Meyers, Asst. Public Defenders, Chicago, of counsel.

Alan Raphael, Jenner & Block, Chicago, [99 Ill.2d 136] amicus curiae Brief on Behalf of Chicago Council of Lawyers.

James D. Montgomery, Acting Corp. Counsel, Chicago, for Citizens of the City of Chicago; Jerome A. Siegan, Chief Asst. Corp. Counsel, Maureen Kelly Ivory, Asst. Corp. Counsel, Chicago, of counsel.

Tyrone C. Fahner, Former Atty. Gen., Neil L. Hartigan, Atty. Gen., Michael B. Weinstein, Asst. Atty. Gen., Chicago, for appellant; Richard M. Daley, State's Atty., County of Cook, Chicago, Richard A. Devine, First Asst. State's Atty., Michael E. Shabat, Joan S. Cherry, Kevin Sweeney, Asst. State's Attys., Chicago, of counsel.


Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Cook County Stanley Payne was found guilty of three counts of aggravated battery and one count of armed violence in connection with the shooting of Frederick Perry. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of five years on the aggravated-battery counts and 20 years on the armed-violence charge.

In a Rule 23 order (87 Ill.2d R. 23) the appellate court held the evidence sufficient to establish defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. (106 Ill.App.3d 1154, 64 Ill.Dec. 519, 439 N.E.2d 1327.) In a separate opinion (People v. Payne (1982), 106 Ill.App.3d 1034, 62 Ill.Dec. 744, 436 N.E.2d

Page 1203

[75 Ill.Dec. 644] 1046), however, the court reversed the conviction and remanded the case for a new trial because of what it considered to be constitutional error of reversible magnitude. That court said that it reasonably appears from the record in this case that the prosecutor was peremptorily challenging prospective black jurors simply because they were black. Because of its finding the appellate court held the trial judge should have required the prosecutor to demonstrate that black persons were not being excluded solely because of their race. The failure of the trial court to do so, said the appellate court, violated defendant's sixth amendment right to an impartial jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community and required a new trial. (U.S. Const., amend. VI; Taylor v. Louisiana (1975), 419 U.S. 522, 95 S.Ct. 692, 42 L.Ed.2d 690.) No question is raised here other [99 Ill.2d 137] than the correctness of this holding.

Of the ten black persons on the venire from which the jurors in this case were drawn, three were excused by the court for cause, six were excused by the prosecutor through the use of peremptory challenges, and one was accepted by both sides and served as a juror. Defendant objected to the prosecutor's use of peremptory challenges for this purpose on the grounds that those persons so challenged were being excused only because of their color. Two white persons were also peremptorily challenged by the prosecution, and the defense exercised all 10 peremptory challenges on white persons. We note parenthetically that, in their briefs, the parties appear to concede that if, in these circumstances, the prosecutor should have been required to justify his use of peremptory challenges, similar explanation would be required from defense counsel. However, in oral argument defense counsel seemed to urge that explanations could not be required of defense counsel.

Our earlier decisions (see, e.g., People v. Davis (1983), 95 Ill.2d 1, 69 Ill.Dec. 136, 447 N.E.2d 353; People v. King (1973), 54 Ill.2d 291, 296 N.E.2d 731; People v. Powell (1973), 53 Ill.2d 465, 292 N.E.2d 409; People v. Butler (1970), 46 Ill.2d 162, 263 N.E.2d 89; People v. Harris (1959), 17 Ill.2d 446, 161 N.E.2d 809) consistently rejected claims that minority group members had been improperly excluded from the convicting juries. The opinions in those cases, however, did not specifically consider Taylor v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court decision which defendant here urges modified the earlier holding in Swain v. Alabama (1965), 380 U.S. 202, 85 S.Ct. 824, 13 L.Ed.2d 759. In Swain the court held the use of peremptory challenges in particular cases to exclude members of discrete groups was not a violation of equal protection guarantees, but recognized that systematic exclusion of such persons in case after case could infringe upon constitutional protections. Defendant here argues that Taylor established a sixth [99 Ill.2d 138] amendment right to jurors selected from a representative cross section of the community, and that this right precludes the prosecutor from so exercising his peremptory challenges as to eliminate members of a discrete group simply because of that membership. Because the sixth amendment to the Federal Constitution, upon which Taylor is bottomed, had not, when Swain was decided, been held applicable to the States, the appellate court considered that the Swain holding was no longer viable and agreed with defendant.

In People v. Williams (1983), 97 Ill.2d 252, 73 Ill.Dec. 360, 454 N.E.2d 220, we discussed at length and rejected this specific contention. We there considered the cases upon which defendant and the appellate court in this case relied, and no useful purpose would be served by reiteration of that discussion here. We pointed out Swain's emphasis upon the importance of peremptory challenges to the process of selecting an impartial jury, and that court's conclusion that the use of such challenges against group members solely because of such membership was justified in particular cases. Because Taylor's concern had been with a sixth amendment right to a "fair cross section of the community on venires, panels, or lists from which petit jurors are drawn" (419 U.S. 522, 526, 95 S.Ct. 692, 696, 42 L.Ed. 690, 696), we concluded[75 Ill.Dec. 645]

Page 1204

that Taylor had not diminished Swain's precedential value. We noted, too, the Swain caveat "that the systematic exclusion of blacks by peremptory challenges in case after case regardless of the particular circumstances involved would raise a constitutional issue." (People v. Williams (1983), 97 Ill.2d 252, 278, 73 Ill.Dec. 360, 454 N.E.2d 220.) Since the issue in Williams concerned only the alleged exclusion of blacks in that case, and Swain specifically permitted the use of peremptory challenges for that purpose, we found no error occurred. We made clear our agreement with the Swain principle that an essential part of our jury trial system is the right of both [99 Ill.2d 139] sides in particular cases to exercise peremptory challenges as they deem advisable, and our belief that this principle was unaffected by Taylor's announcement of a sixth amendment right to "a fair cross section of the community" on sources from which petit jurors are drawn. Those expressions are dispositive of the only issue before us in this case.

The judgment of the appellate court is reversed and the cause is remanded to that court for consideration of other issues originally argued but not decided.

Reversed and remanded.

CLARK, Justice, specially concurring:

Although I agree with the underlying notions in the arguments advanced by my colleague Justice Simon, I believe that, based on the facts in this case, the majority opinion is fair and reasonable, and therefore concur in the result with the following comments.

Certainly, no one on this court would disagree with the premise that the systematic exclusion of blacks for jury duty is unconstitutional and should be condemned. However, this is not the situation that we are faced with in the case at bar. A future case may present obvious abuses such as systematic exclusion of jurors on the basis of race, and I would not hesitate to invalidate such a practice, but that is not the case in People v. Payne. In this case, while the defendant is black, the victim is also black. The jury that convicted defendant was composed of 11 whites and one black. The prosecutor used six out of eight peremptory challenges to exclude blacks, but the counsel for the defendant used all of his peremptory challenges to exclude whites. Thus we are not faced with the scenario of an all-white jury convicting a black defendant for a crime against a white victim. However, even in the case before us, the systematic exclusion of blacks from this jury would be unconstitutional if proved. I do not believe it was.

[99 Ill.2d 140] Implicit in many of the arguments advanced for reform in the manner of selecting juries is that blacks are less likely to convict fellow blacks than whites. I am not persuaded that this is the case. Many black communities bear the brunt of violent crime, and the citizens of black communities are not automatically more sympathetic to defendants simply because they have black skin. Such arguments merely perpetuate racial stereotypes that have plagued this nation for too long, and are not buttressed by objective studies on jury behavior. (See H. Kalven, The America Jury 195-210 (1966); see generally McCray v. Abrams, 576 F.Supp. 1244 (E.D.N.Y. 1983). The systematic exclusion of any group based on sex or ethnicity is equally repugnant, but the most effective way to prevent this may be the drastic reduction of peremptory challenges. Such a reform could well be considered by the legislature as the answer to an enormously complex problem.

Prospective jurors are drawn from voter registration rolls, and as blacks register to vote in greater numbers, it may become not only foolhardy, but statistically impossible, to obtain a racially homogenous jury in urban America. Until that day is reached, the judiciary must be vigilant to avoid the systematic exclusion of blacks from jury duty, but in my opinion that is not the situation here. I therefore concur in the result.

SIMON, Justice,...

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