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12/03/75 PEOPLE v. PHIFER

December 3, 1975

PEOPLE
v.
PHIFER



Appeal from Recorder's Court of Detroit, Donald S. Leonard, J.

Leave to appeal denied, 396 Mich 857.

J. H. Gillis, P. J., and Bronson and T. M. Burns, JJ. T. M. Burns, J., concurred. J. H. Gillis, P. J. (dissenting).

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Opinion of the Court

1. -- Alibi -- Instructions to Jury -- Burden of Proof.

The alibi instruction given by the trial Judge impermissibly shifted the burden of proof from the prosecutor to the defendant where the Judge stated that the alibi, in order to be legally effective, must cover the entire time during which the crime is alleged to have been committed.

2. -- Alibi -- Instructions to Jury -- Acquittal -- Reasonable Doubt.

Alibi instructions, when read as a whole, must adequately advise that the defendant must be acquitted if any reasonable doubt exists as to his presence at the scene of the crime.

3. -- Instructions to Jury -- Alibi -- Case Precedent -- Retroactivity.

An instruction telling a jury that they should view an alibi defense with caution, as that defense is easy to prove and hard to disprove, is reversibly erroneous since August 2, 1974, the date of a decision of the Michigan Supreme Court which so holds; however, that decision is not retroactive.

4. -- Alibi -- Prosecutors -- Proofs.

The defendant in a criminal case who asserts an alibi defense does not have to provide an airtight alibi covering the whole time in question nor does he have to prove he could not have reached the place in time to commit the crime, as the prosecutor must introduce proofs that he had ample time to arrive at the scene of the crime at the time of its perpetration.

5. -- Alibi -- Evidence -- Reasonable Doubt.

Although alibi evidence may be insufficient to establish the alibi as a separate fact, it may be considered by the jury for the purpose of raising ...


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