The Michigan Supreme Court has granted oral argument to consider the prosecutor’s application for leave to appeal in People v. Smart
, No. 149040. Smart
concerns the question of whether, for purposes of excluding a defendant’s statement made during plea negotiations under MRE 410, the plea negotiations must directly involving a prosecuting attorney. Here, the defendant made numerous incriminating statements during meetings between the defendant, his attorney, and the detective. At least one of the meetings was scheduled at the defendant’s request because he sought to secure a better plea deal. The trial court held the defendant’s statements inadmissible under MRE 410 because the statements were made during the course of plea negotiations. The Court of Appeals affirmed. However, the court did not address the issue of whether a prosecuting attorney must be directly involved in the discussions, because it found that the prosecutor had conceded that some of the defendant’s statements were excluded under MRE 410(4), even though no prosecutor was present at the meetings.
This is the second time that Smart
has appeared on the Michigan Supreme Court's docket. In February 2014, the Court affirmed the order of the trial court suppressing the incriminating statements made by the defendant, finding that the defendant had reasonably believed his statements were made in the course of negotiating a plea deal. Our post regarding this February 2014 ruling is here