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November 05, 1993 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-05

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 5, 1993- 7

JIouse votes to revoke
automatic appeals right


Labor, Commerce
Departments report
economic growth

Opponents charge
that legislation
would penalize
defendants who had
. Incompetent legal
LANSING (AP) - Criminals
who plead guilty and receive prison
terms within sentencing guidelines
may lose their right to an automatic
appeal tinder a bill approved by the
House yesterday.
Advocates say stopping frivolous
' peals would lighten the work load
the state Court of Appeals and save
millions in court costs.
But opponents claim the bill elimi-
nates options for defendants who had
incompetent lawyers or were coerced
to file a guilty plea. Some also say
potential cost savings have been ex-
After much debate, the House
voted 89-13 to approve the legisla-
*on with some Democrats opposing
the measure. The bill was sent to the
Senate for consideration.
A Senate measure that would en-
ter the appeals limitinto the Michigan
Constitution is still before the House.
It would require approval by a major-
ity of Michigan voters.
Bill sponsor Rep. Michael Nye
(R-Litchfield) said cases are currently
led in the appeals court for at least
Iar. About 25 percent of the cases
have been filed by criminals who
pleaded guilty.
"If they pleaded guilty to start
with, why is there an automatic ap-
peal?" Nye said. "It eats up court
time. Attorneys are hired, briefs are
filed and very little is done."
But without the right to appeal a
ea-based conviction, a prisoner loses
1 chance to correct errors that oc-
curred in trial court, said Rep. Lynn
Rivers (D-Ann Arbor).
"He could lose the right even if he
was coerced, under duress or had in-

effective counsel at the time of the
guilty plea," Rivers said. "This is a
considerable step to take without any
real guarantee we'll see a decrease in
the workload at the Court of Ap-
Currently in Michigan, any per-
son accused in a criminal prosecution
has the right to appeal.
The bill would eliminate that right
for criminals who plead guilty or no
contest and receive a standardized
Instead, they may ask the state
court to hear an appeal but the court
may deny the request.
The law would not change for
defendants who plead guilty and re-
ceive a sentence beyond standard
"If there is an abuse of sentencing,
the defendant still has a right to ap-
peal," Nye said.
A Democratic amendment that
would have granted the right to ap-
peal fordefendants coerced intoplead-
ing guilty failed in the House by a
wide margin.
Also defeated was an amendment
that would have a judge tell a defen-
dant his sentence before a plea would
be filed.
Rep. David Gubow (D-Hunting-
ton Woods) said the bill would pro-
vide little relief for appeals court
judges because they would still re-
ceive thousands of requests for ap-
"We are shifting responsibility
from one (court) docket to another
docket," Gubow said. "They still
would have to go through meetings,
gyrations and costs."
Nye said an amendment to the
state constitution is not necessary, but
would protect the bill from constitu-
tional challenges.
The bill is favored by Gov. John
Engler. It is opposed by the American
Civil Liberties Union and the Michi-
gan Council on Crime and Delin-

economy unfurled more flags signal-
ing a stronger recovery - sharply
improved worker productivity in the
third quarter, increased factory or-
ders in September and fewer new
claims for jobless benefits last week.
The Labor Department reported
yesterday that productivity shot up at
a 3.9 percent annual rate from July
through September, rebounding from
declines during the prior two quar-
ters. The Commerce Department said
factory orders increased 0.7 percent,
to a seasonally adjusted $255.2 bil-
lion, the third advance in fourmonths.
And in a third report, the Labor
Department said the number of new
claims for unemployment insurance
dropped by 10,000 last week, to
338,000, the lowest level in a month.
A bimonthly business confidence
index released yesterday by the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce appeared to
support the view the economy had
begun to pick up. It rose to 46.4 in
Octoberfrom45.6in August, although
itstill was well below the62.4reached
in both December and February.
The news followed an October
survey by the Federal Reserve, re-
leased Wednesday, that also found a
moderately growing economy, paced
by consumer spending, particularly

for autos, and by residential construc-
Major retailers reported yesterday
that consumers were spending cau-
tiously in October, which historically
has been a good barometer of Christ-
mas sales activity.
Discount stores and a revitalized
Sears, Roebuck and Co. posted the
strongest results. Some department
stores and specialty apparel retailers
reported poor sales, partly because
warm weather curbed clothing pur-
The new data preceded the Labor
Department's next employment re-
port. Many analysts predicted the de-
partment would report today that
135,000 new jobs were created in
October, although the unemployment
rate was expected to remain at 6.7
percent for the third straight month.
The Labor Department said the
seasonally adjusted increase in non-
farm productivity followed declines
of 1.8 percent in the first quarter and
0.4 percent in the second.
The declines were the first since
productivity fell 0.7 percent at an
annual rate during the January-March
period of 1991. The third-quarter re-
bound approached the 4.2 percentgain
in the October-December period last

Pre-med student Felipe Paez attempts to sell Rose Bowl T-shirts. Since the
Wolverines have no chance of playing in the Rose Bowl this season,
Michigan fans have found themselves cherishing souvenirs from the football
team's 1993 victory over Washington.

7. U

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The Michigan Daily's ad production department.
Applications are still available,
but Monday, November 8 is the deadline.
And if you have an appication,
Want more info? Call Mike at 764-0556, or come to
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Career opportunities
at J.P. Morgan
for University of Ilichigan business
students (undergraduate) interested in
Corporate Finance
Hu man 1esO1rce(s
Management Serices (Internal Consulting)

Career opportunities
at J.P. Morgan
for University of Michigan Liberal Arts
students (undergraduate) interested in
Human Resources
Management Services (Internal Consulting)

Please plan to attend our
information presentation on
Tuesday, November 9

Please plan to attend our
information presentation on
Wednesday, November 10
Michigan Union




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