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02/09/76 PEOPLE v. REED

February 9, 1976

PEOPLE
v.
REED



Appeal from Recorder's Court of Detroit, John Patrick O'Brien, J.

V. J. Brennan, P. J., and Bashara and R. M. Maher, JJ. V. J. Brennan, P. J., concurred. R. M. Maher, J. (dissenting).

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Opinion of the Court

1. Courts -- Judicial Notice -- Words and Phrases -- Meanings of Words.

Courts will take judicial notice of the ordinary meanings of English words, but not of uncommon or extraordinary meanings applied in isolated cases or in particular localities; that a word has acquired a peculiar meaning, different from its ordinary meaning, is a fact requiring proof.

2. -- Evidence -- Intent -- Words and Phrases -- Meanings of Words.

A finding of specific intent to rob, in a trial for felony murder, was supported by sufficient evidence where a witness testified that one of the participants in the crime told the witness to "set it out", an expression which meant that he was to hand over his money.

3. Robbery -- -- Evidence -- Intent.

A jury could properly find that a defendant possessed specific intent to rob where there was testimony that the defendant initiated the incident by pulling out a handgun, which allowed his coparticipant to pick up a shotgun which was in the room and announce a robbery.

4. -- Evidence -- Written Statement -- Past Recollection Recorded -- Prejudice -- Curing Error.

Allowing a witness's written statement identifying a defendant at a previous lineup to be read without a proper foundation being laid for admission of the statement under the doctrine of past recollection recorded was error, but the error was not prejudicial where it was cured when the statement was stricken.

5. -- Instructions to Jury -- Appeal and Error -- Miscarriage of Justice.

Review of a jury instruction is limited to whether there was a miscarriage of Justice, where the instruction was not objected to at trial.

6. -- Instructions to Jury -- Armed Robbery -- Felony Murder -- Manslaughter -- Miscarriage of Justice.

An incomplete jury instruction on armed robbery did not result in a miscarriage of Justice where the defendant was charged with felony murder but the jury ruled out armed robbery in the context of felony murder when it found the defendant guilty of manslaughter.

7. Homicide -- Manslaughter -- Instructions to Jury -- Voluntary Manslaughter -- Involuntary Manslaughter.

A jury was properly given a general instruction on manslaughter where the facts supported a finding of manslaughter, and there is no distinction in punishment between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.

8. -- Prosecutors -- Improper Conduct -- Harmless Error.

Improper conduct by a prosecutor who repeated leading questions over objections which were sustained was harmless error where the questions related to a robbery in the context of a felony murder ...


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