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One Court of Justice Blog

Apr 2017
April 28, 2017

COA: Defendant released early by clerical error is no longer under control of Dept. of Corrections, may not receive consecutive sentences

A defendant who was accidentally released before serving all of her time may not receive consecutive sentences as though still incarcerated, said the Michigan Court of Appeals. In People v. Parker, No. 330898, the Department of Corrections “erroneously released defendant back into the community before she was finished serving either of her sentences.” As a result, when the defendant committed another crime in 2013, her record showed “in prison.” Pursuant to MCL 768.7a, the trial court ordered that the new sentence run consecutively to the sentences that she was already supposed to be serving. 

Apr 2017
April 24, 2017

COA: Defendant can withdraw plea if judge deviates from deal, but restitution is constitutional and need not be proportional

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently examined a wide range of arguments, ultimately finding that the trial court erred by imposing a fine, but upholding its orders for restitution. In People v. Foster, No. 329992, the defendant “pleaded guilty to two counts of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, MCL 750.110, and one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, MCL 333.7401(2)(b)(i).” The prosecution agreed to drop the charges in exchange for the defendant’s agreement to pay restitution. But, on appeal, the defendant argued that he could not be ordered to pay restitution where he was not convicted of the underlying crimes.

Apr 2017
April 15, 2017

Statute means what it says: any movement of victim to a place of greater danger supports OV 8 score.

Judicial additions to a plainly defined word are impermissible, said the Michigan Supreme Court. In People v. Barrera, No. 151282, the court held that the trial court had correctly decided the scoring of Offense Variables (OVs) for a crime of sexual assault. Rejecting prior holdings that expanded the requirements in the relevant criminal statute, the court found that the statute means what it says—any movement, or “asportation,” that involves moving the victim to a place of greater danger results in OV 8 being scored at 15 points. The statute does not provide an “incidental movement” exception, and courts are not at liberty to add one.

Apr 2017
April 10, 2017

MSC grants leave to consider whether courts are bound by the sentence of one day to life for a conviction of indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person

The Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal in People v Arnold, No. 154764, ordering the parties to address whether MCL 750.335a(2)(c), the statute addressing indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person, requires the mandatory imposition of a sentence of 1 day to life or whether the sentencing court may impose a sentence within the applicable sentencing guidelines range. 

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