skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 64045 Find in a Library
Title: MULTIPLE PUNISHMENT FOR THE 'SAME OFFENSE' - MICHIGAN GRAPPLES WITH THE DEFINITIONAL PROBLEM
Journal: WAYNE LAW REVIEW  Volume:25  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1979)  Pages:825-858
Author(s): S J SCHWARTZ
Corporate Author: Wayne State University
Law School
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CRITERIA USED BY THE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT FOR DETEMINING WHETHER TWO CRIMES CONSTITUTE THE SAME OFFENSE FOR MULTIPLE PUNISHMENT PURPOSES ARE EXAMINED IN RELATION TO RELEVANT U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISIONS.
Abstract: THE DOUBLE JEOPARDY PROVISION OF THE FIFTH AMENDMENT PROHIBITS MULTIPLE PUNISHMENT FOR THE SAME OFFENSE AS WELL AS MULTIPLE PROSECUTION FOR THE SAME OFFENSE. IN BLOCKBURGER V. UNITED STATES, U.S. SUPREME COURT RULED THAT MULTIPLE PUNISHMENT IS INVOLVED WHERE A GREATER AND LESSER OFFENSE ARE BOTH PROVEN WITH THE SAME EVIDENCE. IN RECENT CASES DECIDED BY THE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT, THE BLOCKBURGER CASE WAS NOT THE CRITERION FOR DETERMINING THE EXISTENCE OF MULTIPLE PUNISHMENT. WITHOUT ANY INDICATION OF WHICH DOUBLE JEOPARDY PROVISION WAS BEING APPLIED, THE COURT, IN PEOPLE V. MARTIN AND PEOPLE V. STEWART APPLED AN 'ACTUAL EVIDENCE TEST' TO STRIKE DOWN CONVICTIONS THAT WOULD BE UPHELD UNDER THE BLOCKBURGER TEST. THE RECENT FELONY-FIREARM STATUTE PASSED BY THE MICHIGAN LEGISLATURE PROVIDES A VEHICLE THROUGH WHICH TO CLARIFY THE STATUS OF THE BLOCKBURGER TEST IN MICHIGAN. THE LAW, WHICH PROVIDES FOR ADDITIONAL SENTENCING WHEN A FELONY IS COMMITTED WHILE BEING IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM, REQUIRES PROOF THAT A FELONY WAS COMMITTED WHILE THE GUN WAS IN THE DEFENDANT'S POSSESSION. THUS, UNDER BLOCKBURGER, CONVICTION UNDER THE FELONY-FIREARM STATUTE WOULD PRECLUDE CONVICTION UNDER A SEPARATE FELONY STATUTE, BECAUSE THE SAME EVIDENCE IS INVOLVED. THE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT SHOULD CONFRONT THIS CIRCUMSTANCE BY CONSTRUING THE FELONY-FIREARM STATUTE AS IMPOSING AN ADDITIONAL MANDATORY 2-YEAR SENTENCE FOR THE UNDERLYING FELONY. BY ADOPTING THIS APPROACH, THE COURT WILL PROTECT THE DOUBLE JEOPARDY RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENRY ACCORDING TO BLOCKBURGER WHILE FURTHERING THE LEGISLATURE'S GOAL OF DETERRING ARMED FELONIES. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Critiques; Judicial decisions; Michigan; Right against double jeopardy; State supreme courts; US Supreme Court
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64045

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.