Daily Briefs ...

Michigan Senate OKs $144 million more for Flint water crisis

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate has approved spending another $144 million to address the water crisis in Flint, where residents have to use faucet filters or bottled water because of lead contamination.

The emergency aid legislation that passed 34-3 Tuesday next goes to the House for consideration. It is the fourth round of funding being considered by lawmakers since the health disaster was confirmed seven months ago.
Gov. Rick Snyder and legislators previously authorized $67 million for the emergency — mostly state money but also federal funds.

The latest bill includes $25 million to replace old lead pipes that connect water mains to customers and nearly $21 million to provide health insurance to an additional 15,000 children and pregnant women. Another $45 million would be set aside in an emergency reserve fund.

Special Michigan Court of Appeals Conflict Resolution Panel to Hear Oral Arguments

The Special Panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals, which is made up of Judge Douglas B. Shapiro, presiding; Judge Jane E. Markey; Judge Patrick M. Meter; Judge Jane M. Beckering; Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens; Judge Michael J. Kelly; and Judge Michael J. Riordan will convene at 10 a.m. May 18 for oral argument in People of MI v Kenya Ali Hyatt to resolve the conflict between this case and People v Skinner.

From the Court of Appeals Published Opinion, Case # 325741 – “A jury convicted Kenya Ali Hyatt of first-degree felony murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery, and felony-firearm. Because Hyatt was 17 years old when the offense occurred, the trial court held a Miller hearing (Miller v Alabama) to determine Hyatt’s sentence. It ultimately sentenced Hyatt to life without the possibility of parole for the murder conviction, 210 months to 40 years’ imprisonment for each of the conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery convictions, and two years’ imprisonment for the felony-firearm conviction. On appeal, Hyatt argues: 

1) a police officer impermissibly encroached on the province of the jury when he identified Hyatt in a surveillance video; 

2) the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on accident; and, 

3) his sentence must be vacated because the determination of whether a juvenile should receive a life without parole sentence must be made by a jury. 

In light of the decision in People v Skinner, issued August 20, 2015, Hyatt must be resentenced so that a jury may determine whether he should receive life in prison without the possibility of parole. We otherwise affirm Hyatt’s convictions and sentences. However, were it not for Skinner, we would affirm the sentencing court’s decision to sentence Hyatt to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

We therefore declare a conflict with Skinner pursuant to MCR 7.215(J)(2).”