People v. Schultz, Docket Nos. 84788

CourtMichigan Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtARCHER; BOYLE; BRICKLEY; RILEY, C.J., and GRIFFIN
Citation460 N.W.2d 505,435 Mich. 517
Docket NumberDocket Nos. 84788,86348
Decision Date28 September 1990
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. David M. SCHULTZ, Defendant-Appellee. PEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Jeffrey Francis SAND, Defendant-Appellee.

Page 505

460 N.W.2d 505
435 Mich. 517
PEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
David M. SCHULTZ, Defendant-Appellee.
PEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Jeffrey Francis SAND, Defendant-Appellee.
Docket Nos. 84788, 86348.
Supreme Court of Michigan.
Argued March 7, 1990.
Decided Aug. 29, 1990.
Rehearing Denied Sept. 28, 1990.

Page 506

[435 Mich. 519] Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Louis J. Caruso, Sol. Gen., Richard Thompson, Pros. Atty., Robert C. Williams, Chief, Appellate Div., and Thomas S. Richards, Asst. Pros. Atty., Pontiac, for the People in Schultz.

Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Louis J. Caruso, Sol. Gen., Carl J. Marlinga, Pros. Atty., and Robert John Berlin, Chief Appellate Lawyer, Mt. Clemens, for the People in Sand.

Faintuck, Schwedel & Wolfram by William G. Wolfram, Franklin, for defendant-appellee in Schultz.

[435 Mich. 520] Metry, Metry & Sanom by Gilbert E. Metry and Dean C. Metry, Detroit, for defendant-appellee in Sand.

Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Louis J. Caruso, Sol. Gen., G. Michael Hocking, Pros. Atty., and William M. Worden, Asst. Pros. Atty., Charlotte, amicus curiae.

OPINION

ARCHER, Justice.

We granted leave to appeal to determine whether the defendants should be sentenced under M.C.L. Sec. 333.7401; M.S.A. Sec. 14.15(7401) and M.C.L. Sec. 333.7403; M.S.A. Sec. 14.15(7403) as amended subsequent to the dates their crimes were committed. We would affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

I

A. People v. Schultz

Defendant David M. Schultz was tried and convicted in the Oakland Circuit Court of transporting ten ounces of cocaine. On

Page 507

November 13, 1986, Schultz, a twenty-five-year-old Bloomfield Hills middle school teacher with no prior criminal record, was arrested at the home of Daniel Jamieson when the police raided the house after an undercover officer purchased cocaine from Jamieson.

Defendant was charged with the manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver more than 225 grams but less than 650 grams of cocaine. 1 The prosecution's theory of the case was that defendant aided and abetted Jamieson in the cocaine sale to the undercover police officer. 2

At trial, defendant testified that on the night of [435 Mich. 521] his arrest, he was at his girl friend's apartment when Jamieson telephoned. Jamieson asked defendant to pick up a package and deliver it to him. Defendant agreed. Jamieson arranged for a friend to place the package in defendant's car, which was parked outside his girl friend's apartment. Defendant then retrieved and delivered the package to Jamieson's house. Defendant and Jamieson were arrested when the police raided the house after Jamieson sold cocaine to an undercover police officer. 3

Defendant also testified at trial that, although he delivered a package to Jamieson, he did not know its contents. In contrast, a police officer testified that during postarrest interrogation, 4 defendant told him he knew the package contained cocaine.

Defendant was convicted of possession of more than 225 grams but less than 650 grams of cocaine on April 28, 1987. 5 On May 18, 1987, he was [435 Mich. 522] sentenced to twenty to thirty years imprisonment. As it existed at the time of defendant's conviction and sentencing, M.C.L. Sec. 333.7403(2)(a)(ii); M.S.A. 14.15(7403)(2)(a)(ii), the sentencing statute, provided a mandatory twenty-year minimum term of imprisonment. The trial judge reluctantly imposed this sentence, noting on the record that the statute required the court to do so. 6

Defendant appealed, contesting both his conviction and sentence. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. 172 Mich.App. 674, 432 N.W.2d 742 (1988). The Court, however, remanded the case to the trial court for resentencing in light of 1988 P.A. 47, which became effective March 30, 1988, some ten months after defendant was sentenced. 1988 P.A. 47 amended M.C.L. Sec. 333.7403; M.S.A. Sec. 14.15(7403), the statute under which defendant had been convicted and sentenced, and reduced the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment from twenty years to ten. 7 1988 P.A. 47

Page 508

also authorized the trial [435 Mich. 523] court to depart from the ten-year minimum term for substantial and compelling reasons.

The prosecutor subsequently filed an application for leave to appeal. We granted leave on April 11, 1989, to determine whether the Court of Appeals erroneously ordered the trial court to resentence defendant under M.C.L. Sec. 333.7403; M.S.A. Sec. 14.15(7403) as amended by 1988 P.A. 47. 432 Mich. 892, 437 N.W.2d 636 (1989).

B. People v. Sand

Defendant Jeffrey Francis Sand pled guilty of conspiracy to deliver more than fifty grams but less than 225 grams of cocaine for his role ina scheme to supply cocaine to an undercover police officer. 8 At the plea hearing held on February 4, 1988, defendant stated that he was introduced to an undercover officer and agreed to supply him with cocaine in exchange for money. Defendant agreed to go to Florida and obtain the cocaine. While in Florida, but before he purchased the cocaine, defendant reneged on his part of the bargain. Defendant was subsequently arrested and brought back to Michigan to face prosecution.

At the time defendant committed the offense and pled guilty, M.C.L. Sec. 333.7401(2)(a)(iii); M.S.A. Sec. 14.15(7401)(2)(a)(iii) provided a mandatory ten-year minimum term and a maximum term of twenty [435 Mich. 524] years or lifetime probation. 9 About one month prior to defendant's scheduled sentencing date, 1987 P.A. 275 took effect and amended Sec. 7401(2)(a)(iii) by reducing the minimum term of imprisonment from ten years to five. 10 At defendant's sentencing[435 Mich. 525] on

Page 509

May 2, 1988, the trial court sentenced defendant to a term of ten to twenty years imprisonment.

Defendant subsequently filed a claim of appeal, and the Court of Appeals unanimously reversed in an unpublished per curiam decision decided May 22, 1989 (Docket No. 109768). The Court held that defendant should have been sentenced under Sec. 7401 as amended by 1987 P.A. 275.

The people subsequently filed an application for leave to appeal, which we granted on September 27, 1989.

II

The people argue in both cases that criminal defendants are to be sentenced under the relevant statute as it existed on the date the offense was committed. The prosecution claims that, absent an express contrary statement of legislative intent, ameliorative acts that amend sentencing statutes and mitigate the authorized terms of punishment apply prospectively to all offenses committed subsequent to the date the amendment takes effect.

Insofar as the prosecution maintains that the question presented is one of legislative intent, we agree. Under the constitution of this state, the people have vested in the Legislature the exclusive authority to determine the terms of punishment imposed for violations of the criminal law. Const.1963, art. 4, Sec. 45; In re Callahan, 348 Mich. 77, 80, 81 N.W.2d 669 (1957); People v. Coles, 417 Mich. 523, 538, 339 N.W.2d 440 (1983). The Legislature also has the constitutional authority to provide that an ameliorative amendatory act applies prospectively [435 Mich. 526] to offenses committed after the amendatory act takes effect. In the context of the two cases presented before this Court, however, we disagree that the Legislature intended to exercise this power and so narrowly constrict the prospective operation of the amended Public Health Code. In light of the Legislature's decision that the current terms of punishment authorized in the Public Health Code constitute an appropriate social response to narcotics crimes and abuse, we would hold that the Legislature intended cases pending in the trial court and those on direct appeal, where the issue is raised and preserved, on the date the ameliorative amendments took effect, to be included within the ambit of the amended Public Health Code. To conclude otherwise would be inconsistent with the underlying purpose of the general saving statute and the sentencing policies of this state.

Despite the intent of the Legislature expressed in 1987 P.A. 275, 1988 P.A. 47, and 1989 P.A. 143, all of which mitigate the terms of punishment authorized in the Public Health Code for the manufacture, delivery, or possession of controlled substances, 11 the prosecution submits that defendants Schultz and Sand should be sentenced under M.C.L. Sec. 333.7401; M.S.A. Sec. 14.15(7401) and M.C.L. Sec. 333.7403; M.S.A. Sec. 14.15(4703) as those statutes existed when the defendants committed their crimes. The people reason that both the action to enforce criminal liability and the terms of punishment authorized in the statutes prior to amendment remain in effect by operation of the general saving statute, M.C.L. Sec. 8.4a; M.S.A. Sec. 2.214. Section 8.4a provides that [435 Mich. 527] the repeal of any statute under which a liability, forfeiture, or penalty is incurred does not discharge that liability, forfeiture, or penalty, absent a contrary statement of legislative intent:

"The repeal of any statute or part thereof shall not have the effect to release or relinquish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under such statute or any part thereof, unless the repealing act shall so expressly provide, and such statute and part thereof shall be treated as still remaining in force for the purpose of instituting or sustaining

Page 510

any proper action or prosecution for the enforcement of such penalty, forfeiture or liability."

Although it is clear that the two defendants before this Court have incurred criminal liability for which they may be punished, neither the purpose of Sec. 8.4a nor the relevant case law from the Court of Appeals lends persuasive support to the prosecution's argument that the Legislature intended the terms of punishment authorized prior to amendment in M.C.L. Sec. 333.7401; M.S.A. Sec. 14.15(7401) and M.C.L. Sec. 333.7403; M.S.A. Sec....

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107 practice notes
  • HOLIDAY v. U.S., No. 95-CF-1054
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • July 30, 1996
    ...ambiguous as to whether the defendant in a pending case "should be punished under the old law or the new one."13 In People v. Schultz, 435 Mich. 517, 460 N.W.2d 505 (1990), the Michigan Supreme Court ignored an explicit general savings statute14 for still another reason. Focusingon one of t......
  • People v. Fields, Docket No. 97269
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • March 7, 1995
    ...and compelling" standard. Until today, we have not specifically addressed the issue before us now. However, in People v. Schultz, 435 Mich. 517, 460 N.W.2d 505 (1990), 2 four members of this Court underscored the importance of judicial discretion in sentencing under this statute. Justice Ar......
  • People v. Thenghkam, Docket No. 207303.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • May 22, 2000
    ...reasonably calculated to rehabilitate. People v. Cheeks, 216 Mich.App. 470, 478-479, 549 N.W.2d 584 (1996) citing People v. Schultz, 435 Mich. 517, 532, 460 N.W.2d 505 (1990) Furthermore, the court recognizes that the public must be protected from dangerous individuals who commit heinous an......
  • State v. Kalil, No. 19016.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • November 25, 2014
    ...where an amendatory act mitigates the authorized terms of punishment but continues to proscribe the same conduct.” People v. Schultz, 435 Mich. 517, 529, 460 N.W.2d 505 (1990) ; see also State v. Reis, 115 Hawai‘i 79, 165 P.3d 980 (2007) (ameliorative amendments applied to defendants becaus......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
107 cases
  • HOLIDAY v. U.S., No. 95-CF-1054
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • July 30, 1996
    ...ambiguous as to whether the defendant in a pending case "should be punished under the old law or the new one."13 In People v. Schultz, 435 Mich. 517, 460 N.W.2d 505 (1990), the Michigan Supreme Court ignored an explicit general savings statute14 for still another reason. Focusingon one of t......
  • People v. Fields, Docket No. 97269
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • March 7, 1995
    ...and compelling" standard. Until today, we have not specifically addressed the issue before us now. However, in People v. Schultz, 435 Mich. 517, 460 N.W.2d 505 (1990), 2 four members of this Court underscored the importance of judicial discretion in sentencing under this statute. Justice Ar......
  • People v. Thenghkam, Docket No. 207303.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • May 22, 2000
    ...reasonably calculated to rehabilitate. People v. Cheeks, 216 Mich.App. 470, 478-479, 549 N.W.2d 584 (1996) citing People v. Schultz, 435 Mich. 517, 532, 460 N.W.2d 505 (1990) Furthermore, the court recognizes that the public must be protected from dangerous individuals who commit heinous an......
  • State v. Kalil, No. 19016.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • November 25, 2014
    ...where an amendatory act mitigates the authorized terms of punishment but continues to proscribe the same conduct.” People v. Schultz, 435 Mich. 517, 529, 460 N.W.2d 505 (1990) ; see also State v. Reis, 115 Hawai‘i 79, 165 P.3d 980 (2007) (ameliorative amendments applied to defendants becaus......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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