People v. Krajenka

Decision Date29 April 1991
Docket NumberDocket No. 121785
Citation470 N.W.2d 403,188 Mich.App. 661
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. John KRAJENKA, Defendant-Appellant. 188 Mich.App. 661, 470 N.W.2d 403
CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan — District of US

[188 MICHAPP 662] Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Gay Secor Hardy, Sol. Gen., Gary M. Gabry, Pros. Atty., and Charles D. Hackney, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the People.

O'Connor, McNamara & O'Keeffe by Robert S. Sykes, Jr., Ionia, for defendant-appellant on appeal.



Defendant, a prisoner at the Riverside Correctional Facility, pleaded guilty of being an inmate in possession of marijuana, M.C.L. Sec. 800.281(4); M.S.A. Sec. 28.1621(4), and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 5 years' imprisonment. Defendant appeals as of right. We affirm defendant's conviction, but vacate his sentence and remand for resentencing.

Defendant first contends that M.C.L. Sec. 800.281(4); M.S.A. Sec. 28.1621(4) violates the Equal Protection Clause because it charges prisoners in possession of marijuana with a five-year felony while nonprisoners in possession of marijuana face only a misdemeanor charge under M.C.L. Sec. 333.7403(2)(d); M.S.A. Sec. 14.15(7403)(2)(d). We disagree.

Equal protection analysis requires an initial determination of the proper test to be applied. If the statute affects a fundamental interest or [188 MICHAPP 663] makes an inherently suspect classification, the court applies a strict scrutiny test, and the statute will not be upheld unless there is a compelling interest which justifies the classification. People v. Jacqueline Walker, 135 Mich.App. 267, 275-276, 354 N.W.2d 312 (1984), lv. den. 421 Mich. 860 (1985), app. dis. 474 U.S. 801, 106 S.Ct. 32, 88 L.Ed.2d 26 (1985). Otherwise, the test to determine whether legislation enacted pursuant to the police power comports with equal protection is whether the legislative classification is rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest. Shavers v. Attorney General, 402 Mich. 554, 267 N.W.2d 72 (1978), reh. den. 403 Mich. 958 (1978), remanded on other grounds 407 Mich. 1153 (1979), cert. den. 442 U.S. 934, 99 S.Ct. 2869, 61 L.Ed.2d 303 (1979), aff'd 412 Mich. 1105, 315 N.W.2d 130 (1982).

No fundamental interest or suspect classification is involved in this case. Prisoners and nonprisoners are not suspect classifications and neither group has a fundamental right to possess marijuana. See People v. Maxson, 181 Mich.App. 133, 135, 449 N.W.2d 422 (1989). Thus, defendant could be constitutionally charged as an inmate in possession of marijuana unless the prisoner/nonprisoner classification is arbitrary and not reasonably or rationally related to the object of the legislation. People v. Perkins, 107 Mich.App. 440, 443, 309 N.W.2d 634 (1981).

Furthermore, the distinction between inmates and noninmates is not arbitrary. The statute's purpose is to enhance prisoner discipline, a recognized and legitimate governmental interest. Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 526-528, 104 S.Ct. 3194, 82 L.Ed.2d 393 (1984). The distinction between prisoners and nonprisoners is rationally related to that purpose.

Defendant next contends that the statute violates the title-object clause of Const.1963, art. 4, [188 MICHAPP 664] Sec. 24, because it embraces more than one object. See People v. Trupiano, 97 Mich.App. 416, 296 N.W.2d 49 (1980). The "one object" requirement is not to be so narrowly and technically interpreted as to unnecessarily embarrass legislation. Kuhn v. Dep't of Treasury, 384 Mich. 378, 387, 183 N.W.2d 796 (1971). The intent of M.C.L. Sec. 800.281; M.S.A. Sec. 28.1621 is to keep contraband out of prison. People v. Robert Lewis (On Remand), 97 Mich.App. 650, 652, 296 N.W.2d 62 (1980). The provision does not involve dissimilar and discordant objects, but rather the single object of maintaining order and discipline in a prison environment.

Finally, defendant contends that his sentence is so excessive that it should shock the...

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6 cases
  • People v. Ramsdell
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • June 23, 1998
    ...its purpose is to prohibit or limit access by inmates to certain weapons, alcoholic liquors, and drugs. See People v. Krajenka, 188 Mich.App. 661, 664, 470 N.W.2d 403 (1990). Specifically, the preface An Act to prohibit or limit the access by prisoners and by employees of correctional facil......
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • February 5, 2002
    ...the exclusions' focus on one's status as an incarcerated prisoner does not involve a suspect classification. People v. Krajenka, 188 Mich.App. 661, 663, 470 N.W.2d 403 (1990). We find that the Legislature's FOIA exclusions singling out incarcerated prisoners rationally relate to the Legisla......
  • People v. Armisted
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • December 6, 2011
    ...contraband out of state correctional facilities and to ensure order and discipline within those facilities. See People v. Krajenka, 188 Mich.App. 661, 664, 470 N.W.2d 403 (1991). This purpose would be undermined if we were to construe the phrase “released on parole” as including all parolee......
  • People v. Vaughn
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • June 7, 1993
    ...a controlled substance. The intent of the statute is to keep contraband out of the state's prison facilities. People v. Krajenka, 188 Mich.App. 661, 664, 470 N.W.2d 403 (1991). As with any other offense regarding the possession of contraband, the possession may be either actual or construct......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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