October-November, 2020: Cases for Argument

Mini-Oral Argument on Application Granted

People v Kellie Nichole Stock, MSC No. 160968 (COA No. 340541), MOAA granted October 2, 2020.

Cocaine Metabolite as Evidence of Intoxication

The Court directed the parties to address whether: under People v Feezel, 486 Mich 184, 204-212 (2010), the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence that the defendant had cocaine in her system at the time of the crash based only on the presence of a cocaine metabolite in the defendant’s urine; and (2) defense counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge the use of cocaine metabolites to establish intoxication.

People v Robert Lance Propp, MSC No. 160551 (COA No. 343255), MOAA granted October 21, 2020.

Expert Funds/MCL 768.27b Evidence

The Court directed the parties to address: 1) whether the Court of Appeals correctly applied People v Kennedy, 502 Mich 206 (2018), when it affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny the defendant’s motion for expert funding; and (2) whether the Court of Appeals correctly held that evidence of other acts of domestic violence is admissible under MCL 768.27b regardless of whether it might be otherwise inadmissible under the hearsay rules of evidence. 

People v James Curtis Beck, MSC No. 160669 (COA No. 342043), MOAA granted October 28, 2020.

Retrial/Double Jeopardy

The Court directed the parties to address: (1) whether the defendant’s retrial in Docket No. 2016-000309-FH was barred by the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the federal or state constitutions, US Const, Am V; Const 1963, art 1, § 15; (2) if so, whether vacating his convictions in that case would also warrant a new trial, resentencing, or any other remedy in the jointly tried case, Docket No. 2017-001376-FC; and (3) whether the trial court improperly imposed a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for an act of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (Count II) that was not charged as carrying such a minimum. See Alleyne v United States, 570 US 99, 109-111 (2013); Apprendi v New Jersey, 530 US 466, 476, 478-479 (2000).

People v Rodney Jamar McKee, MSC No. 157646 (COA No. 333720)/People v Clifford Durrell McKee, MSC No. 157581 (COA No. 336598), MOAAs granted October 28, 2020.

Admission of Codefendant’s Statement

The Court directed the parties in these combined cases to address whether the trial court erred in failing to grant the appellants’ motion for a mistrial because their substantial rights were impaired by the admission of a codefendant’s statement to the police. See Zafiro v United States, 506 US 534, 539 (1993), and People v Hana, 447 Mich 325, 345-346 (1994).

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor