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U.S. Supreme Court rules on Michigan case

The U.S. Supreme Court building
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a murder conviction in the case Michigan v. Bryant.

The case involved a Detroit man who identified his shooter as the victim lay dying, and whether or not that evidence could be considered in court.

A Wayne County jury convicted Richard Bryant of murder based on the victim's statement. But the Michigan Supreme Court overturned that conviction, saying Bryant was denied his constitutional right to confront his accuser.

Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the initial conviction. The Court ruled the victim’s statement wasn’t “testimonial” in nature.
Wayne County Chief of Appeals Tim Boughman says that’s because the statement helped Detroit Police during an “ongoing emergency.” He says police were only trying to figure out what had happened, not obtain evidence against Bryant.
"You arrive on the scene, what happened? You got shot, who did it, where are they? Are they still a threat, are they right here? The Court says those things all play into whether there’s an ongoing emergency."

Baughman helped argue the case with his daughter, Lori Palmer, who served as the lead attorney.
The two are believed to be the only father-daughter legal team to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.


Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.