Lansing Passes 2017 PA 265 Eliminating Automatic Mandatory Life Sentencing for Drug Offenders
On December 28, 2017, the Michigan Legislature and Governor Snyder sent 2017 PA 265 to the Secretary of State for access into the Michigan Compiled Regulations. The Public Act served to amend a number of provisions of the State’s Criminal Laws. One of the most substantial change, however, was an amendment to M.C.L. § 333.7413( 1) and also (2 ). Those areas enforced extra penalties upon individuals founded guilty of a 2nd narcotics-related crime. While the requirement for a sentencing enhancement for 2nd or subsequent culprits whatsoever is open for argument, the law, before the passage of the bill, called for the imposition of mandatory life sentence, without the opportunity of parole, for a second offense of possession with intent to supply more than 50 grams of cocaine, or, about 2/5 the weight of a bar of Dove Soap.

The Old System: Under the present regulation, which will not much longer be in effect after March 28, 2018, if an individual has ever before been convicted of a narcotics related infraction involving 50 grams or more of a dangerous drug, a second sentence, under the old variation of the statute, imposed a mandatory life sentence without the opportunity of parole. The only other criminal activity in Michigan that has such a sentence is First Degree Murder. Put simply, the law, before this amendment, treated 2 convictions for possessing with the intent to sell or deliver, really providing, or producing 50 grams of cocaine or an equal, in the same manner as a premeditated murder, or killing a law enforcement agent in the line of duty. The old system was instituted in the 1980s, specifically, the statute M.C.L. § 333.7413 was last modified in 1988, when the US Governments, and also the States, were in the center of the “War on Drugs” and were setting up severe penalties for all narcotics relevant offenses. Since that time, the majority of States, and also the Federal Government, have actually reduced penalties for certain, low-level drug offenses, even for repeat offenders. Michigan’s old repeat drug wrongdoer sentencing stipulations had actually not caught up with the new scheme.

The New Scheme: Under the brand-new version of the bill, the repeat narcotics culprit sentencing arrangements have actually been modified and also reduced. Most significantly, the required lifer provisions pertaining to narcotics offenses have been gotten rid of. In other words, a person founded guilty of a 2nd or subsequent drug crime can no longer be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Instead, the 2nd or subsequent crime can subject the individual to a maximum sentence of up to two times that otherwise imposed by the statute. Given the prolonged sentences that are imposed for possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and manufacturing of cocaine, those double-time sentences can still be substantial, but there is no mandatory life imposition, and also there is the opportunity of a probationary sentence in lieu of prison, and also eligibility for parole. These are considerable as well as important changes for anyone that is dealing with charges for narcotics-related offenses, and also a crucial development that any criminal defense attorney handling these instance should understand about. The new changes to the law will certainly become effective on March 28, 2018. The legislation does not suggest whether it will apply retroactively or not, though generally, such laws are not considered to apply to situations that were closed prior to enactment.