December 2022

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 are some of the issues presented in briefs added to our brief bank in the last few weeks. For confidentiality purposes, names of clients and witnesses have been removed.

BB 321675: Defendant’s case, now on direct appeal, proceeded to resentencing hearing without consideration of the presumption of a term of years sentence, and without the prosecutor bearing the burden of proof of rebutting that presumption by clear and convincing evidence. The remedy is reversal for resentencing.

BB 321684: Defendant’s conviction violates state and federal due process guarantees and must be vacated where there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that defendant had operated the vehicle to the location or was operating the vehicle when the deputies arrived within the meaning  of “operate” as defined in MCL 257.625(1) and People v Wood.

BB 321686: Defendant’s cognitive impairment and developmental disability rendered his plea unknowing, unintelligent, and involuntary, which violated due process. Thus, he is entitled to remand for plea withdrawal or, alternatively, evaluation of criminal responsibility due to concerns arising from his psychological evaluation report.

BB 321689: The prosecution conceded that the trial court did not rely on certain victim impact statements during sentencing, thus concedes under Maben that those statements must come out of the PSIR.

BB 321692: Defendant’s state and federal constitutional rights to the effective assistance of counsel were violated where trial counsel failed to communicate the plea cut-off deadline and offered other inadequate advice.  Defendant is entitled to relief where he was prejudiced by trial counsel’s deficient performance.  This Court should remand for a Ginther hearing if it has not already done so.

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor