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One Court of Justice Blog

Jun 2017
12
June 12, 2017

MOAA: Was evidence of defendant’s prior firearms convictions permissible because it bore on wife’s credibility and was not a collateral issue?

The Michigan Supreme Court granted a mini-oral argument to hear whether a defendant’s rights were violated through the use of character evidence and evidence of prior crimes. In People v. Wilder, No. 154814, the court will hear: 1) whether defendant’s prior firearms-related convictions were offered solely as character evidence, 2) whether defendant’s prior convictions were relevant to his guilt or innocence and 3) whether any part of the trial deprived defendant of a just outcome. 
 

Jun 2017
02
June 02, 2017

COA: Hearsay laboratory reports welcome at preliminary examination

In People v. Parker, No. 335541, the Court of Appeals held that a district court can admit a hearsay laboratory report during a preliminary examination under the statutory hearsay exception found in MCL 766.11b(1). Prior to this decision, this statute appeared to be in conflict with MCR 6.110(C) and MRE 802, which precludes introduction of a laboratory report as hearsay without exception. Under MCR 6.110(C), the district court must conduct a preliminary examination “in accordance with the Michigan Rules of Evidence” and MRE 802 prohibits a district court from admitting hearsay evidence absent an exception in the rules of evidence. However, MCL 766.11b(1) indicates that “[t]he rules of evidence apply at the preliminary examination except” that the hearsay rule does not preclude certain laboratory reports from being admitted. Therefore, a court rule conflicted with a statute.  However, because MCL 766.11b(1) serves as a substantive rule of evidence, not a procedural one, the statutory exception takes precedence over MCR 6.110(C).

 

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