People v. Slaughter

Citation39 Ill.2d 278,235 N.E.2d 566
Decision Date28 March 1968
Docket Number40071,Nos. 39424,40688,s. 39424
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Daniel SLAUGHTER, Appellant.
CourtSupreme Court of Illinois

Page 566

235 N.E.2d 566
39 Ill.2d 278
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee,
Daniel SLAUGHTER, Appellant.
Nos. 39424, 40071, 40688.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
March 28, 1968.

Carl F. McGarrity, LaGrange, appointed by the court, for appellant.

William G. Clark, Atty. Gen., Springfield and John J. Stamos, State's Atty., Chicago (Fred [39 Ill.2d 279] G. Leach, Asst Atty. Gen., and Elmer C. Kissane, Asst. State's Atty., of counsel), for appellee.

SCHAEFER, Justice.

The basic issue that permeates these consolidated cases concerns the quality of representation required of counsel appointed to represent an indigent prisoner in proceedings under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act. Ill.Rev.Stat.1965, chap. 38, pars. 122--1 through 122--7.

After a trial before a judge of the circuit court of Cook County, the defendant, Daniel Slaughter, was found guilty of the murder of his wife, and on November 24, 1961, he was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of fourteen years. On writ of error the judgment of conviction was affirmed. (People v. Slaughter, 29 Ill.2d 384, 194 N.E.2d 193.) In that case the court held that by introducing evidence on his own behalf the defendant had waived his contention that a verdict in his favor should have been directed at the close of the People's evidence. His other principal contention, that the element of malice aforethought was not established beyond a reasonable doubt, presented, in the opinion of the court, 'a closer issue.' (29 Ill.2d at 389, 194 N.E.2d 193.) In resolving that issue the court relied first upon testimony that on a previous occasion, during

Page 567

a quarrel with his wife, the defendant had threatened to 'knock her brains out,' and second, upon his conflicting versions of the 'accident' and the conflict between his explanations and the physical facts. After discussing the evidence the court concluded: 'Such vacillations are hardly consistent with an honest claim of accident and we believe that defendant, having undertaken to explain and justify the shooting to the authorities, may be judged by the conflicts and improbabilities in those explanations. Considered in conjunction with the evidence of malice implicit in defendant's prior threat to do violence to his wife, we [39 Ill.2d 280] are satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to establish the element of malice beyond a reasonable doubt.' 29 Ill.2d at 390--391, 194 N.E.2d at 196.

On November 9, 1965, the defendant filed a Pro se post-conviction petition in which he alleged his indigence and requested the appointment of counsel. While his petition used something akin to legal terminology, it was basically incoherent. The last two paragraphs are illustrative. 'The entire proceedings upon which the conviction was had were grossly illegal, wanting in law, and contrary to the Constitution of the United States, and the State of Illinois, being contested in the following manner:

'Petitioner's allegations of the manner in which his Constitutional Rights were violated, on the allegations the petitioner bases his petition, and he verily believes that upon hearing of the cause under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act, Rule 27 it will be much more clearly shown that this petitioner was deprived of his liberty without due process of law, and reversal shall be entered by the Court of jurisdiction in accordance with the meaning of Article Two (2) Section Nineteen (19), of the Illinois State Constitution, and the (14th) Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. His lack of funds and his inability to the required date from his place of incarceration, upon hearing of the cause he be given the use of subpoena to obtain the truth to place before the Court.'

On February 9, 1965, the State filed a motion to dismiss the post-conviction petition because it failed to satisfy the requirements of the statute. That motion came on for hearing on March 4, 1965, and the entire report of proceedings at the hearing on the motion to dismiss is as follows:

'The Clerk: Daniel Slaughter.

'Assistant State's Attorney: It's your case. We filed a written motion. In 61--1632, the crime was murder. On Nov. 24th, 1961, there was a sentence of 14 years to the Illinois State Penitentiary. There was a Writ of Error, [39 Ill.2d 281] reported in 29--Illinois (2d) 384 (194 N.E.2d 193), which was affirmed, and the order was entered down here on December 23rd, 1963. All of his allegations are nothing more than mere conclusions, and we have filed a Motion to Dismiss. They are bare allegations and the allegations affirmed are res judicata to the petition.

'Assistant Public Defender: Just for the record, the petitioner alleges that the entire proceedings upon which the conviction was had were grossly illegal, wanting in law and contrary to the Constitution of the United States in that, generally, his rights were violated, his constitutional rights were violated.

'The Court: All right, motion of the respondent to dismiss is sustained.'

On March 29, 1965, the defendant filed two Pro se motions. One of these motions requested that the judgment dismissing the defendant's post-conviction...

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    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • December 10, 2002
    ...... was reversed by the Supreme Court of Illinois because of errors in the hearing, see People v. Szabo, 94 Ill.2d 327, 68 Ill.Dec. 935, 447 N.E.2d 193 (1983) ( Szabo I ), but the second was ....          People v. Slaughter, 39 Ill.2d 278, 235 N.E.2d 566, 569 (1968). Applying this standard in People v. Garrison, 43 ......
  • Amin v. State
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    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • May 19, 1989
    ......, and we are not equipped to do that, either time wise or financially, and we don't have the people to raise every spurious issue under the circumstances, Your Honor. .         Amin then ... [Emphasis in original.] . See also People v. Slaughter, 39 Ill.2d 278, 235 N.E.2d 566 (1968). There is an admirable but apparently unlearned, lesson here ......
  • People v. English, 112890.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • April 18, 2013
    ...criticisms regarding the available methods by which a judgment of conviction could be attacked in Illinois. See People v. Slaughter, 39 Ill.2d 278, 235 N.E.2d 566 (1968); People v. Erickson, 161 Ill.2d 82, 107, 204 Ill.Dec. 231, 641 N.E.2d 455 (1994) (McMorrow, J., dissenting, joined by Har......
  • People v. Lesley, Docket No. 122100
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    ...presents them to the court. People v. Suarez , 224 Ill. 2d 37, 46, 308 Ill.Dec. 774, 862 N.E.2d 977 (2007) (citing People v. Slaughter , 39 Ill. 2d 278, 285, 235 N.E.2d 566 (1968) ). Thus, the intent of the Act is that, in the second and third stage of postconviction proceedings, defendants......
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