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One Court of Justice Blog

Nov 2017
15
November 15, 2017

MSC to consider scope of rape-shield statute

The Michigan Supreme Court will consider whether, in a criminal sexual conduct case, evidence of a victim’s pregnancy, lack of prior sexual activity, and abortion is barred by the rape-shield statute as “[e]vidence of specific instances of the victim’s sexual conduct, opinion evidence of the victim’s sexual conduct, [or] reputation evidence of the victim’s sexual conduct...” MCL 750.520j(1). The parties in People v. Sharpe, Case Nos. 155747-8, also have been asked to address whether, if the evidence is covered by the rape-shield statute, it is nonetheless admissible under one of the statute’s exceptions.  Further, if the evidence is not barred by the rape-shield statute, the parties have been asked to address whether the evidence is admissible under MRE 402 and MRE 403.  The Court of Appeals previously held that the evidence is not necessarily barred by MRE 404(a) or Michigan’s rape-shield statute.  Our blog post discussing the Court of Appeal’s opinion can be found here.
 

Nov 2017
13
November 13, 2017

MSC to decide whether recanting witness's testimony pointing to a different killer requires new trial for convicted co-defendants

The Michigan Supreme Court has found interest in a decades-old murder case where the man who witnessed his mother's murder when he was 8 years old has come forward to testify that the killer was someone other than the convicted defendants.  The two co-defendants in People v. Johnson, No. 154128, and People v. Scott, No. 154130, seek relief from judgment on the basis that the testimony of the son—who previously would not or could not (due to mental trauma) identify the killer—constitutes newly discovered evidence that warrants a retrial.  Interestingly, Justice McCormack has recused herself because of her involvement as counsel for a codefendant, and Justice Wilder has recused himself as a member of a panel involved in deciding a peremptory reversal motion filed in the underlying appeal.  Click on the blog title to read more.

Nov 2017
10
November 10, 2017

MSC to consider property tax exemption for subsidiary of non-profit entity

On October 24, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court granted oral argument in Trinity-Health-Warde Lab, LLC v Charter Township of Pittsfield, No. 154952, to determine whether it should grant the application for leave to appeal or take other action.  The question for consideration is whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that a for-profit subsidiary of a tax exempt entity was not entitled to a statutory property tax exemption.  Our post on the Court of Appeals decision can be found here.

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