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One Court of Justice Blog

Oct 2015
October 02, 2015

COA: Gag order violated First Amendment

In the consolidated cases of People v. Sledge, No. 324680, and People v. Collins, No. 324681, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of a motion by the Detroit Free Press to vacate an order precluding “all potential trial participants” from commenting to media about the cases (collectively “gag order”).  The court held that the gag order was overbroad and constituted an unconstitutional prior restraint on the freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Oct 2015
October 02, 2015

MSC agrees to hear Swain innocence appeal

In People v. Swain, No. 150994, the Michigan Supreme Court agreed to hear Defendant Swain’s latest appeal of her post-conviction motion for relief.  Among the issues that the Court ordered the parties to brief are: (1) whether the test set forth in People v. Cress, 468 Mich. 678, 692 (2003), for determining whether a defendant is entitled to a new trial based on newly discovered evidence applies in determining whether a second or subsequent motion for relief from judgment is based on “a claim of new evidence that was not discovered before the first such motion” under MCR 6.502(G)(2); (2) whether the defendant is entitled to a new trial as a remedy for a Brady violation; (3) what standard(s) Michigan courts consider a defendant’s assertion that the evidence demonstrates a significant possibility of actual innocence in the context of a motion brought pursuant to MCR 6.502(G), and whether the defendant in this case qualifies under that standard; (4) whether the Michigan Court Rules provide a basis for relief where a defendant demonstrates a significant possibility of actual innocence; (5) whether, if MCR 6.502(G) does bar relief, there is an independent basis on which a defendant who demonstrates a significant possibility of actual innocence may nonetheless seek relief under the United States or Michigan Constitutions; and (6) whether the defendant is entitled to a new trial pursuant to MCL 770.1.  

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