Online Brief Bank - November/December, 2015

Subscribers to the Criminal Defense Resource Center’s online resources, found at www.sado.org, have access to more than 1,800 appellate pleadings filed by SADO Attorneys in the last five years.  The brief bank is updated regularly and is open to anyone who wants to subscribe to online access.  On our site, briefs are searchable by keyword, results can be organized by relevance or date, and the pleadings can be filtered by court of filing.  Below is a sample of some of the questions presented in briefs added to our brief bank in the last few weeks:

BB 260349:  Where the defense strategy was to show that the complainant was telling a “fish story,” trial counsel was ineffective for neglecting to make use of readily available impeachment material that, had the jury known of it, likely would have changed its verdict from AWIM to AWIGBH.

BB 260277:  Defendant must be granted a new trial because he is actually innocent and because trial counsel was ineffective in failing to present either the exculpatory witness or his statement against interest at trial.

BB 260277:  Defendant was denied a fair and impartial jury and the trial court committed error as a matter of law when the court declared a jury before defendant had a chance to exercise 10 of his peremptory challenges and defense counsel expressed shock at the judge’s procedure; the trial court also failed to follow the procedure mandated by MCR 2.511(f); if counsel’s objection was insufficient, defendant was denied his right to effective assistance of counsel.

BB 260330:  Due process requires dismissal of the charges where an undercover detective entrapped appellant by repeatedly soliciting deliveries of marijuana and attempting to get appellant to purchase a large quantity of marijuana, which constituted reprehensible police conduct.

BB 260330:  The trial court violated appellant’s due process rights by refusing to at least require the prosecutor to produce for an in camera hearing the confidential informant who set up appellant’s contact with the undercover detective.

BB 260330:  Due process requires reducing restitution by $250.00 where the police arrested appellant and immediately recovered the pre-recorded buy money involved in the last delivery.

BB 260718:  The agreement to testify, which was argued to be part of the plea agreement was actually outside the plea agreement; it was not delineated at the plea hearing as part of the agreement, accordingly, defendant is entitled to the five-year sentence that was placed on the record without any reference or contingency related to testifying at the murder trial.

BB 260721:  The trial court violated appellant’s due process rights by ordering restitution of $4,735.00 for damage to the doors at the complainant’s party store, where a written work order provided in discovery listed a total repair cost of $2,745.22; alternatively, defense trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective in failing to challenge the amount of restitution.

BB 261008:  The unreasonable delay in arresting Defendant violated his rights to due process, to a fair trial, to present a defense, and to confront witnesses and evidence against him causing substantial prejudice at trial.

BB 261221:  The admission of complainant’s unsworn statements from the preliminary exam at the trial in his absence, over objection, is reversible error.  The admission violated state evidentiary rules and the defendant’s state and federal constitutional rights to confrontation.

BB 261222:  The trial court violated appellant’s due process rights and acted without statutory authority by permitting the complainants to testify while accompanied by a support dog without making a finding of necessity; furthermore, defense trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective in failing to object.

BB 261474:  Defendant is entitled to resentencing where there was an error in the scoring of offense variable 4 (serious psychological injury) resulting in an incorrect sentencing guidelines range and a sentence based upon inaccurate information, thus violating the state and federal due process clauses.

BB 261648:  The trial judge did not abuse his discretion in granting the defense motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, nor did the judge apply an incorrect standard in ruling on that motion.

BB 261651:  Defendant is entitled to resentencing because the court did not have proper authority to change the concurrent sentence to a consecutive sentence by way of an amended judgment without full resentencing.

BB 261653:  Since the evidence placed Defendant miles away at the time of the crime, the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motion for a new trial.

BB 261653:  Defendant is entitled to a Crosby remand for resentencing under Lockridge, as the trial court engaged in judicial factfinding that increased his sentencing range in violation of his Sixth Amendment rights.

BB 261998:  Defendant was denied his Sixth Amendment right of confrontation and his right to a fair trial by the admission, over objection, of a highly prejudicial hearsay statement from an anonymous informant.

BB 261998:  The trial court denied defendant a fair trial and his right to notice by adding an instruction which effectively directed a guilty verdict and by denying requested instructions on the proffered defense.

BB 262034:  Trial counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate and present evidence that not only would have rebutted the prosecution’s false-alibi claim, but also proved beyond doubt that his client was where he said he was at the time of the crime.

BB 262035:  Defendant was ordered to pay a $254.50 transcript fee as part of his sentence; there is no authority for this fee and he is entitled to have this assessment vacated as a matter of constitutional due process, US Const, Ams V, XIV; Const 1963, art 1, §§ 17, 20.

BB 262141:  Due process requires a new trial based on newly discovered evidence that appellant’s asthma inhaler affected appellant’s blood alcohol breath test results.

BB 262392:  Defendant was denied his constitutional right to a fair trial by the substantive use of explicit, improper drug profile testimony which greatly strengthened a case which was otherwise weak.

BB 262410:  Due process requires plea withdrawal where defense trial counsel frightened defendant into pleading guilty by failing to visit and answer defendant’s questions about raising self-defense or voluntary manslaughter; and defendant did not have access to a law library at the county jail.

BB 262701:  Defendant was denied his right to effective assistance of counsel where his trial attorney failed to investigate and produce witnesses on his behalf and in failing to request medical records of the complainant.

BB 262701:  Defendant was denied his right to discovery and his right to due process where he was not informed of a rifle bullet found in his van until the middle of trial, in violation of the discovery order, and where the police failed to take any steps to preserve the alleged bullet; trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the testimony concerning the bullet, and in failing to move for dismissal or for a mistrial.

BB 262840:  This court should vacate the court costs because the trial court did not comply with statutory mandate and case law when imposing these costs in the amount of $700.

BB 262926:  The trial court erred in finding that Defendant was unavailable and in thus allowing the admission of his preliminary examination testimony under MRE 804(b)(1). The presentation of his recorded testimony violated Defendant’s constitutional right to confrontation.

BB 263092:  The trial court reversibly erred in failing to consider defendant’s income, in accord with the plain language of the statute at the time it imposed probation oversight fees.

BB 263603:  Defendant’s convictions must be reversed because MCL 750.81d(1) is unconstitutionally vague. In making it a crime to “oppose” a police officer, the statute fails to give fair notice of prohibited conduct, gives unfettered discretion to police, prosecutors, and juries to determine its scope, and has a chilling effect on a substantial amount of speech protected by the first amendment.