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People v. Carpenter

627 N.W.2d 276 (2001)

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People v. Carpenter

Supreme Court of Michigan

627 N.W.2d 276 (2001)

Facts

James Carpenter (defendant) ran onto the porch of Audrey Thomas’s home and crashed through a window, brandishing a handgun. Carpenter fired two shots in the general direction of Thomas and her date, Aron Blakely. Thereafter, Carpenter hit Blakely in the face and hit Thomas with the butt of the handgun. Carpenter fled to his home, which police officers subsequently surrounded. A police negotiator spoke by telephone to Carpenter, who yelled and talked about demons and money that was stolen from him. Eventually, police arrested Carpenter. The State of Michigan (plaintiff) charged Carpenter with first-degree home invasion and two counts of assault with intent to commit murder. At a bench trial, a psychologist testified that Carpenter had diminished capacity at the time of the offenses. The psychologist said that Carpenter had previously been hospitalized for mental illness, suffered from drug-induced organic brain damage, and heard voices. In rebuttal, a psychologist for the prosecution testified that Carpenter was not psychotic at the time of the attacks. The trial court rejected Carpenter’s diminished capacity defense and convicted him of first-degree home invasion. The jury acquitted Carpenter on the attempted murder charges. Carpenter appealed. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court of Michigan granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Young, J.)

Dissent (Kelly, J.)

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