Juvenile Lifer Update
A Temporary Restraining Order was issued in Hill v Snyder, No. IO-cv-14568 (E.D. Mich. Jul. 7, 2016), ECF No. 137, on July 6, 2016 prohibiting the filing of motions seeking life sentences pursuant to MCL 769.25a. The TRO was stayed by the Sixth Circuit on July 20, 2016 (#16-2003), after the Attorney General filed an emergency appeal. The litigation in Hill is ongoing and fluid and it is unclear how individual cases will be affected. As of this writing, prosecutors are actively filing motions seeking life sentences pursuant to M.C.L. 769.25a in cases throughout the state. Some counties are also filing motions seeking a term of years against certain individuals. Defense attorneys will be in contact with their individual clients about next steps.
The decision in People v. Hyatt, (#325741) was issued on July 21, 2016. The Court held that there is no right to have a jury determine whether the sentence should be life without parole or a term of years. For now, this means that Skinner, 312 Mich. App. 15 (2015), is overruled and there is no right to a jury for sentencing. Given the potential that the Michigan Supreme Court will take up this issue, it is possible that cases will not move forward in the trial court for resentencing until the issue is resolved.
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