Cases for Argument – June, 2021

Leave Granted

People v Montez Stovall, MSC No. 162465 (COA No. 342440), leave granted April 30, 2021.

Illusory plea bargain/Application of Miller to parolable life offense

The Court directed the parties to address: (1) whether the defendant’s parolable life sentences for second-degree murder were the result of an illusory plea bargain; (2) whether the defendant’s sentences violate the prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishments” found in the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and/or the prohibition against “cruel or unusual punishment” found in Const 1963, art 1, § 16, where he was under the age of 18 at the time of the offenses; (3) whether the Parole Board’s “life means life” policy renders the defendant’s sentences unconstitutional under Miller v Alabama, 567 US 460 (2012), and Montgomery v Louisiana, 577 US 190 (2016); (4) whether, pursuant to Miller and Montgomery, the trial court was required to take the defendant’s youth into consideration when accepting his plea and ruling on his motion for relief from judgment; and (5) whether the Parole Board is similarly required to take his youth into consideration when evaluating him for release on parole.

Mini-Oral Argument on
Application Granted

People v John Antonya Moss, MSC No. 162208 (COA No. 338877), MOA granted April 30, 2021.

Effective blood relation under MCL 750.520d

The Court directed the parties to address whether the Court of Appeals erred in concluding on remand that the defendant and the complainant are effectively related by blood for purposes of MCL 750.520d(1)(d), such that there was an adequate factual basis for the defendant’s no-contest plea.

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor