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SADO's Juvenile Lifer Unit Secures Term of Years Sentences for Clients formerly Sentenced to Life Without Parole

Michigan's Juvenile Lifers--individuals sentenced to mandatory life without parole for offenses they committed as children age 17 years old or under--are entitled to resentencing following Montgomery v Louisiana, __ US __; (Docket No. 14-280, issued 1/25/16), and pursuant to the procedures set forth in MCL 769.25a. In July 2016, prosecutor offices around the state filed motions seeking the re-imposition of life without parole sentences for approximately 229 of Michigan's approximately 363 juvenile lifers. Resentencing hearings will take place over an expanded period of time. In these cases, the prosecution will continue to seek the re-imposition of a life sentence while defense counsel will seek the imposition of a term of years sentence, the minimum of which can be between 25 to 40 years and the maximum of which is 60 years, pursuant to MCL 769.25a. Read More

Court of Appeals Holds That Reasonable Compensation for Appointed Appellate Counsel Not Contingent on Outcome on Appeal

MAACS roster attorney Mitchell T. Foster visited his assigned client, reviewed the record, filed a delayed application for leave to appeal, and filed a motion in the Court of Appeals for leave to file a motion to correct invalid sentence in the trial court. The Court denied the motion and denied leave for "lack of merit in the grounds presented." Foster received $642 from the trial court for his services. Foster petitioned the trial court for reasonable compensation. The trial court denied Foster's petition stating that the county could not afford to pay attorneys who "file stuff that doesn't have a basis of merit to it." Foster sought relief from the Court of Appeals. The Court reversed the trial court's ruling on the petition holding that reasonable attorney fees are not contingent on the outcome on appeal. Read More

Sex Offender Registration After Does v. Snyder

The Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in Does v. Snyder, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 4473231 (6th Cir. 2016), has significant implications for the representation of current registrants who are charged with violating Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA), current registrants seeking removal from the sex offender registry or exemptions from certain SORA provisions, defendants currently charged with sex offenses, and defendants in “recapture” cases. While every case is obviously unique, this memo seeks to provide some general guidance to Michigan’s criminal defense bar in the wake of the Does decision. Read More

Re-Entry for the Juvenile Lifer Population

A report published by the The Sentencing Project found that most juvenile lifers grew up in adverse circumstances such as extreme poverty and violent environments where many experienced child abuse. As a result of the Supreme Court decision in Montgomery v Louisiana, ___ US ___; (Docket No. 14-280, issued 1/25/16), and pursuant to the procedures set forth in MCL 769.25a, approximately 365 juvenile lifers are entitled to re-sentencing. Upon release, all formerly incarcerated persons will face almost insurmountable challenges when reintegrating into society. It is expected that juvenile lifers will face even greater challenges since they were imprisoned at such a young age. The goal of SADO's Project Re-Entry (a volunteer based initiative) is to work with clients to help create a re-entry plan that addresses the unique challenges and needs of each person.
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This project was funded by the Byrne JAG grant #2010-DJ-BX-0003, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and administered by the Michigan state Police (MSP). Points of view or opinions contained within this document do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the MSP or DOJ.