Michigan Supreme Court Remands 6.500 for Actual Innocence Hearing

On December 2, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court remanded a 6.500 motion to the trial court for a hearing on the Defendant’s actual innocence. People v Stockman, Supreme Court No. 138233. John David Stockman was convicted of sexually penetrating a six year old with a turkey baster. At trial, the state’s expert stated that this was not likely to have left physical injuries. The expert, however, was not totally familiar with a turkey baster and when shown a similar baster from by the defendant’s appellate attorney, changed his position and stated that it would have left an injury. The Supreme Court remanded the matter to the trial court to hold an evidentiary hearing and retained jurisdiction. The concurring opinion stated that if the complainant simply stated that the penetration wasn’t deep, the Court should affirm. Congratulations to Marcia McGowen of the State Appellate Defender’s Office (“SADO”) for this victory. Hopefully, the ruling holds after the remand.