June, 2018

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 308507:  The trial court erred by denying defendant-appellant’s plea-withdrawal motion without even considering his claim that trial counsel provided ineffective assistance or his claim that the judge’s advice regarding the maximum sentence was inadequate.

BB 308576:  The trial court violated defendant’s due process rights by failing to consider an updated presentence report.

BB 309198:  The prosecutor engaged in prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments by arguing her personal opinion and suggesting facts not in evidence, in violation of defendant’s due process rights, resulting in a miscarriage of justice.

BB 309427:  Defendant’s retrial was barred by the Double Jeopardy Clauses of both the United States Constitution and the Michigan Constitution because the request for mistrial was directly caused by prosecutorial misconduct that the prosecutor either intended to or knew would provoke the defense to move for a mistrial.

BB 309463:  The trial court erred when it entered convictions for first-degree criminal sexual conduct because the corpus delicti rule prohibits convictions without any independent evidence of penetration, and the only evidence of penetration came from defendant’s previous statements, which he later retracted.

BB 309467:  The trial court committed a procedural error by qualifying an officer as a drug recognition expert. Drug recognition expertise does not meet the Daubert standard.

BB 309832:  Defendant is entitled to resentencing where he was not physically present in the courtroom during the resentencing hearing. Instead, he only appeared by video, in violation of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, article 1, §§ 17 and 20 of the Michigan Constitution, MCL 768.3, MCR 6.425(e), and MCR 6.006.

BB 310160:  The admission of irrelevant music videos containing violent and profane lyrics were inadmissible prejudicial hearsay that violated defendant’s right to a fair trial.

BB 310205:  The trial court plainly erred in admitting DNA “match” evidence that was not accompanied by statistical evidence that clarified the significance of the possible DNA “match.” 

BB 310451:  The assessment of court costs against defendant pursuant to amended MCL 769.1k constitutes an unconstitutional tax and must be vacated.

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor