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There are two types of appeals under Michigan law: an appeal of right and appeal by leave.
An appeal of right also known as an “absolute right” refers to the defendants right to appeal the judgement of the trial court and the appellate court must hear the appeal so long as the defendant demands it and follows all the rules for filing the appeal.
An appeal by leave such as the appeal filed by James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of the Oxford High School shooter may or may not be heard at the discretion of the higher court.
Although either side may appeal a conviction under the Michigan statute, defendants have the absolute right to appeal a guilty verdict and the sentence imposed, but the government may only appeal a sentence, not the verdict if the defendant is found not guilty.
Only the appellate division, that is, the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court in Michigan, has the authority to review the decisions of lower courts.
Appeals are typically filed based on errors in trial procedures or a judge’s interpretation of the law.
Defendants must convince the Court that the police, prosecution, or judge made a legal error during the pre-trial investigation, trial, or sentencing hearing and that the error was prejudicial to their case.
That is, the Appellate Court must find that the lower court made a severe error of law and show that the factual or legal error affected the outcome of the case.
Some examples include:
The Appellate Court may either affirm a judgement causing the lower court’s decision to stand, reverse a decision, alter the sentence by setting it aside or order a new trial.
Ethan Crumbley was sentenced to Life without the possibility of parole on December 8, 2023.
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Welcome to The Community Advocate Network. My name is Deborah Mitchell, I am a graduate in Social Work and Registered Social Work Technician. My human service background began in 2007 which includes medical case management and service navigation for the indigent population, outpatient mental health counseling with substance use and abuse disorders, supportive employment and job development for mental health consumers, and structured living domicile management.