In The News

In The News

Monday, December 1, 2014

Michigan Court Of Appeals Grants A New Trial For Medical Marihuana Patient: How the 6th Amendment of the Constitution Helped

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Medical Marijuana

A medical marihuana patient in the Upper Peninsula received good news recently: the 6th Amendment Right to a Fair Trial means he gets a new trial. The Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a conviction for manufacturing marijuana and granted a new trial - holding that the prosecutor talked her way out of a conviction.  In the unanimous decision "People v Heminger," the Court of Appeals granted Mr. Heminger a new trial because of improper comments made by the prosecuting attorney during closing argument. 

The prosecuting attorney in this case apparently made remarks during her closing argument challenging the credibility of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. This was improper because prosecuting attorneys are not allowed to compel a jury to reach a guilty verdict by bringing up issues that are irrelevant and beyond the scope of determining a defendant’s guilt or innocence.  That is because the 6th Amendment right to a fair trial requires that a process that is not "tainted" by improper comments that rise to the level of casting doubt on the integrity of the process.
In this case the prosecutor called the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act “meaningless”.  The prosecuting attorney also suggested to the jury that medical marihuana patients invite violence into their community. 

“The Court of Appeals got this one right.  It is an important statement coming from the Court of Appeals and I am glad to see that Mr. Heminger has his due process rights restored” says Joshua M. Covert an attorney with the Nichols Law Firm and a member of the legal committee for NORML of Michigan.  If you have been charged with a crime involving marihuana, call the Nichols Law Firm Today and speak with attorneys who understand, stay informed regarding the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and who are committed to results. Call the Nichols Lawyers at 517-432-9000.  

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Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.