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01/08/76 PEOPLE v. TOWLEN

January 8, 1976

PEOPLE
v.
TOWLEN



Appeal from Oakland, Richard D. Kuhn, J.

R. B. Burns, P. J., and D. E. Holbrook and D. F. Walsh, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. -- Gross Indecency -- Question of Fact -- Appeal and Error -- Statutes.

Gross indecency is a question of community morals for the trier of fact, and the Court of Appeals will not substitute its judgment for that of a trial Judge, sitting without a jury, who determined that the actions of a defendant constituted gross indecency under the statute (MCLA 750.338b; MSA 28.570[2]).

2. Witnesses -- -- Expert Witnesses -- Special Knowledge -- Drugs and Narcotics -- Methadone.

A witness was properly allowed to testify that in her opinion a substance given to her by the defendant was methadone where she testified that she had been taking methadone for some time, that the pills given her had the appearance of those she had taken in the past and that she received the same reaction from the pills as she had received in the past; a person does not have to have formal education to be an expert, but may acquire special knowledge of the subject by other means.

3. Witnesses -- Qualifications of Witness -- Weight -- Credibility -- Question of Fact.

The question of a witness's qualifications is a matter of weight and credibility for the trier of fact.

4. Witnesses -- -- Res Gestae Witnesses -- Refusal to Testify -- Prosecutors -- Immunity from Prosecution.

A prosecutor who has called a res gestae witness to the stand has done all that he is required to do; he is not required to apply to the court to grant the witness immunity from prosecution in order to force the witness to testify after the witness has refused to testify citing the Fifth Amendment (US Const, Am V).

5. Witnesses -- -- Attorneys -- Representing Witnesses -- Participation in Trial.

An attorney may represent a witness who is not one of the parties charged at a trial to protect the rights of that witness, but such an attorney may not participate in the trial.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Burns

Harvey Towlen was convicted of delivery of a controlled substance to a minor and of gross indecency between male and ...


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