People v. Young, No. 60190

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtRYAN
Citation128 Ill.2d 1,538 N.E.2d 461
Docket NumberNo. 60190
Decision Date22 February 1989
Parties, 131 Ill.Dec. 86 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. William YOUNG, Appellant.

Page 461

538 N.E.2d 461
128 Ill.2d 1, 131 Ill.Dec. 86
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee,
v.
William YOUNG, Appellant.
No. 60190.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
Feb. 22, 1989.
Rehearing Denied May 26, 1989.

Page 463

[128 Ill.2d 14] [131 Ill.Dec. 88] Charles M. Schiedel, Deputy Defender, and Gary S. Rapaport, Asst. Defender, Office of the State App. Defender, Springfield, for appellant.

Neil F. Hartigan, Atty. Gen., Springfield (Roma Hones Stewart, Solicitor Gen., and Mark K. Rotert, David E. Bindi and Terence M. Madsen, Asst. Attys. Gen., Chicago, of counsel), for People.

[128 Ill.2d 28] REVIEW ON DIRECT APPEAL

Justice RYAN delivered the opinion of the court:

In this case the sentence of death was imposed on the defendant. On appeal, the defendant, who is black, complained that at the guilt phase of the trial, the prosecutor violated the defendant's equal protection rights by using peremptory challenges to exclude four blacks from the jury. While this case was pending on appeal, the Supreme Court decided Batson v. Kentucky (1986), 476 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 1712, 90 L.Ed.2d 69, which held that a defendant may establish a prima facie case of discrimination by showing that he is a member of a cognizable racial group, and that the prosecution exercised peremptory challenges to remove from the jury members of the defendant's race. While this case was under advisement, the Supreme Court held, in Griffith v. Kentucky (1987), 479 U.S. 314, 107 S.Ct. 708, 93 L.Ed.2d 649, that Batson is to be applied retroactively to all cases pending on direct review not yet final. This case was therefore remanded to the circuit court of Will County for a Batson hearing. The trial court found that the prosecution's explanations for the use of peremptory challenges to exclude four black jurors were racially neutral. In an opinion filed today the holding of the trial [128 Ill.2d 29] court was affirmed, 128 Ill.2d 1, 131 Ill.Dec. 78, 538 N.E.2d 453. We now consider the other issues that have been raised on this appeal.

The defendant, William Young, an inmate at the Stateville Correctional Center, was indicted along with fellow inmates Robert Amos, Karl Bell, Paul Williams, Bruce Dawkins, and Robert Tucker for the murder of inmate Brian Jackson (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)(1)). After a severance, William Young and Robert Amos were jointly tried, apart from the other defendants. Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Will County, defendant Young and codefendant Amos were found guilty of murder. The State requested a separate sentencing hearing to consider whether the death penalty should be imposed (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 38, par. 9-1(d)). Codefendant Amos waived his right to a jury determination on the death penalty and his sentencing hearing was severed from the defendant's (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 38, par. 9-1(d)(3)). The trial judge determined that Amos was eligible for the death penalty, but found a factor in mitigation that precluded imposition of the death sentence. Amos was subsequently sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment to run consecutively to the sentence he was serving. Defendant Young requested a jury for the death penalty hearing. At a bifurcated sentencing hearing, the same jury found the existence of statutory aggravating factors (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 38, pars. 9-1(b)(2), (b)(3)), and concluded that there were no mitigating factors sufficient to preclude the imposition of the death penalty. Accordingly, the circuit court sentenced the defendant to death (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 38, par. 9-1(h)). The sentence was stayed (107 Ill.2d R. 609(a)), pending direct appeal to this court (Ill. Const.1970, art. VI, § 4(b); 107 Ill.2d R. 603). In this opinion, we consider only the conviction and death sentence of William Young.

The following evidence was presented at the guilt phase of the trial of William Young and Robert Amos. [128 Ill.2d 30] On March 31, 1983, 137 inmates of cellhouse B-East were exercising in the multipurpose building (gymnasium) of the Stateville prison. The exercise period lasted from 12:30 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. During this period, an intergang meeting took place in the washroom of the gymnasium.

The intergang meeting lasted 10 or 15 minutes. Inmates Paul Williams, Joe Williams, Bruce Dawkins, Robert Tucker, Karl Bell, William Young, Robert Amos,

Page 464

[131 Ill.Dec. 89] and Brian Jackson, all members of the Vice Lords, returned to the washroom for a second meeting. (The washroom, which is separated from the gymnasium by a door, is divided into three areas: a shower area, a locker area, and a bathroom.) The purpose of this second meeting was to administer a physical "violation" to Brian Jackson. A violation was defined as a punishment for breaking the rules of the gang.

The evidence shows that Brian Jackson was found dead in the shower area of the gymnasium washroom at the end of the exercise period. Correctional officers quickly secured the gymnasium. The inmates were placed in the bleachers. Each inmate was thereafter individually screened and interrogated.

Vernon Willis, chief of security at Stateville, testified that during the closedown, he noticed codefendant Amos sitting in the bleachers wearing only shorts. Willis stated that he proceeded to the area underneath the bleachers. He testified that he observed Amos attempting to stuff a pair of bluejeans through the bleachers. The bluejeans were seized and taken to a crime-scene technician.

Melvin Trojanowski, a crime-scene technician with the Illinois Department of Law Enforcement, scanned each inmate's clothing, shoes, and person with an ultraviolet light for the presence of stains. Trojanowski stated that during this process he received a pair of bluejeans from a Department of Corrections officer. He testified that [128 Ill.2d 31] the bluejeans contained a reddish-brown bloodlike substance.

Hayden Baldwin, a sergeant with the Illinois State Police on assignment to the Illinois Bureau of Technical Field Services, processed the locker, shower, and bathroom areas of the washroom. Baldwin testified that he observed large amounts of blood on the floor and the walls of the shower area. He stated that he recovered from a corner of the shower area floor a pair of blue shorts with the defendant's institutional identification number. A long cotton string was also retrieved from the floor of the shower area near the victim's feet. Baldwin further stated that he had noticed that a ventilation frame above a shower head was missing. The vent leads to a plumbing access room located directly behind the shower heads. There is no entrance to the access room from the washroom. Baldwin testified that he retrieved the vent frame from the floor of the access room, along with a carpenter's T-bevel handle, the blade of the T-bevel which had broken off, a folding knife inside a white glove, a long, round, metal rod, a gray sweatjacket with the name "Top Dog" embroidered on the back, a blue web belt, and a black leather belt.

David Metzger, a Department of Law Enforcement forensic scientist specializing in forensic serology, examined each item of physical evidence for the presence of bloodstains. Metzger testified that he analyzed the blood sample of the victim and compared the results with his analyses of samples of blood found on the items of physical evidence. He concluded that bloodstains found on the blue shorts, the gray sweatjacket, the bluejeans, and the vent frame were consistent with the victim's blood type.

Dr. Edward Shalgos, a forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, testified that Brian Jackson sustained a total of 122 stabbing or cutting wounds. Dr. Shalgos indicated that the wounds resulted from at least [128 Ill.2d 32] three different cutting-type instruments. When shown the folding knife, the carpenter's T-bevel handle and blade, and the long, round, metal rod, Dr. Shalgos testified that these instruments were "compatible" with the nature of the wounds incurred by the victim. Dr. Shalgos also stated that there were "defense" wounds on the arms and hands, thus indicating that the victim had tried to ward off his assailants. Dr. Shalgos further testified that the front side of the victim's neck showed ligature abrasion. Dr. Shalgos determined the cause of death to have been the combined effects of exsanguination with shock and ligature strangulation.

The chief prosecution witnesses were inmates Joe and Paul Williams. As to the events which occurred in the washroom during the second meeting, Joe Williams

Page 465

[131 Ill.Dec. 90] testified that he was standing in the bathroom area with Dawkins and Tucker while Amos, Bell, Jackson, and the defendant had a conversation in the shower area. The defendant told Jackson that he was in "violation" and asked him how he was going to accept it. Jackson responded that he was going to accept it like a man. On the defendant's order, Amos and Bell began striking Jackson with their fists. After a few minutes, the defendant ordered Amos and Bell to stop the beating. The defendant walked out of the shower area, past Joe Williams, and proceeded toward the washroom door, where Paul Williams was standing guard outside. Paul Williams gave the defendant a long, round, metal rod and a carpenter's T-bevel. The defendant took one of the weapons and gave the other to Amos. Bell then held Jackson while the defendant and Amos repeatedly stabbed him. Jackson fought against the defendant, Bell, and Amos. In the course of the struggle, the shank wielded by the defendant broke. The defendant gave the broken shank to Bell, who continued to stab Jackson until he fell. After checking Jackson's pulse, the defendant determined that Jackson[128 Ill.2d 33] was still alive. The defendant then ordered Dawkins and Tucker to strangle Jackson. Dawkins wrapped his belt around Jackson's neck and pulled, but it broke. The defendant directed Joe Williams to surrender his belt, which he did. Dawkins and...

To continue reading

Request your trial
283 practice notes
  • Pitsonbarger v. Gramley, No. 95-3912
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 20 Febrero 1997
    ...the death penalty from being imposed on someone whose trial is subject to greater than normal reliability concerns. See People v. Young, 128 Ill.2d 1, 63-64, 131 Ill.Dec. 86, 104-05, 538 N.E.2d 461, 479-80 Finally, in one sentence, Pitsonbarger attempts to argue that the Illinois Death Pena......
  • People v. Baugh, No. 1-03-2551.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 18 Julio 2005
    ...prosecution, allows any rational trier of fact to find the essential elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. People v. Young, 128 Ill.2d 1, 49, 131 Ill.Dec. 86, 538 N.E.2d 461 (1989). This standard of review applies in all criminal cases whether the evidence is direct or circumst......
  • People v. Gosier, No. 69277
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 19 Septiembre 1991
    ...balanced, and any error made was not of sufficient magnitude to deny the defendant a fair sentencing hearing. People v. Young (1989), 128 Ill.2d 1, 47, 131 Ill.Dec. 86, 538 N.E.2d The defendant next argues that he was denied a fair sentencing hearing due to two of the prosecutor's comments ......
  • People v. Kidd, No. 76490
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 19 Diciembre 1996
    ...216 Ill.Dec. 718, 665 N.E.2d 1275 (1996); People v. Taylor, 166 Ill.2d 414, 439, 211 Ill.Dec. 518, 655 N.E.2d 901 (1995); People v. Young, 128 Ill.2d 1, 59, 131 Ill.Dec. 86, 538 N.E.2d 461, (1989). This court has ruled that the statute does not place a burden of proof on the defense that ef......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
284 cases
  • Pitsonbarger v. Gramley, No. 95-3912
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 20 Febrero 1997
    ...the death penalty from being imposed on someone whose trial is subject to greater than normal reliability concerns. See People v. Young, 128 Ill.2d 1, 63-64, 131 Ill.Dec. 86, 104-05, 538 N.E.2d 461, 479-80 Finally, in one sentence, Pitsonbarger attempts to argue that the Illinois Death Pena......
  • People v. Baugh, No. 1-03-2551.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 18 Julio 2005
    ...prosecution, allows any rational trier of fact to find the essential elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. People v. Young, 128 Ill.2d 1, 49, 131 Ill.Dec. 86, 538 N.E.2d 461 (1989). This standard of review applies in all criminal cases whether the evidence is direct or circumst......
  • People v. Gosier, No. 69277
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 19 Septiembre 1991
    ...balanced, and any error made was not of sufficient magnitude to deny the defendant a fair sentencing hearing. People v. Young (1989), 128 Ill.2d 1, 47, 131 Ill.Dec. 86, 538 N.E.2d The defendant next argues that he was denied a fair sentencing hearing due to two of the prosecutor's comments ......
  • People v. Kidd, No. 76490
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 19 Diciembre 1996
    ...216 Ill.Dec. 718, 665 N.E.2d 1275 (1996); People v. Taylor, 166 Ill.2d 414, 439, 211 Ill.Dec. 518, 655 N.E.2d 901 (1995); People v. Young, 128 Ill.2d 1, 59, 131 Ill.Dec. 86, 538 N.E.2d 461, (1989). This court has ruled that the statute does not place a burden of proof on the defense that ef......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT