e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 58003
Opinion Date : 09/02/2014
e-Journal Date : 10/03/2014
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : People v. Poole
Practice Area(s) : Criminal Law
Judge(s) : Per Curiam – Murphy, Whitbeck, and Talbot
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DNA testing of biological material; MCL 770.16; People v. Barrera; Post-appellate relief; MCR 6.501 et seq.; Habeas corpus; The "law of the case" doctrine; Grace v. Grace; Grievance Adm'r v. Lopatin; People v. Hayden; People v. Douglas; People v. Wiley; People v. Phillips (After Second Remand)


The court held that, based on the law of the case doctrine, the trial court did not err in denying the defendant's petition to compel a search for and DNA testing of certain biological material. He was convicted of first-degree murder. The case involved the testing of blood found on and around the victim's body. The court affirmed, and the Supreme Court denied leave. Defendant then filed a motion in the trial court for a new trial and for DNA testing. The trial court denied the motions, finding that he failed to establish that biological material was available for testing. On appeal, he argued that, as acknowledged by the prosecutor, biological material was available for DNA testing, and that he was entitled to DNA testing of all biological evidence presented at the trial as it could significantly undermine the prosecution's theory as to his guilt. The court denied his application, and the Supreme Court again denied leave finding that he failed to meet his burden of establishing entitlement to relief under MCR 6.508(D). The federal courts also denied his petition for habeas corpus. Meanwhile, defendant again petitioned the trial court for DNA testing, but a new judge denied his petition finding that "the jury had been fully aware that defendant was not the source of any crime-scene blood, given the blood-type evidence, yet the jury still convicted" him, and thus "DNA testing excluding defendant as a donor would therefore add nothing of relevance if a new trial took place." Finally, the court granted his application for leave to appeal and held that "there has been no pertinent intervening change in the facts that would justify disregard of the law of the case doctrine." It noted that it could not hold that application of the doctrine "would create an injustice, given that the same issue was examined and rejected previously by two appellate bodies, that there was strong circumstantial evidence of defendant's guilt . . . and that the jury had been fully aware that a particular blood sample could not be linked to either defendant or the victim and that defendant's blood could in no way be connected to the crime." Affirmed.

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