The Supreme Court ruled in his favor 6-0!
No such charge!
Docket no 154374, Argued on application for leave to appeal November 7, 2017, decided May 1,2018.....
Rev Edward Pinkney was charged in Berrien County with five felony counts of election forgery under 168.937 and six misdemeanor counts of making a false statement in a certificate of recall petition under MCL168.957 having submitted petitions with falsified dates in connection with an effort to recall the mayor of Benton Harbor. After defendant was bound over to the Berrien County circuit court for trial , he moved to quash the charges , arguing that MCL 168.937 was a penalty provision and not a substantive , chargeable offense. The court Sterling R. Schrock denied the motion. Defendant was convicted by an all white jury following the trial of all five counts of election fraud, but was acquitted of all six counts of making a false statement. Rev Pinkney was sentenced to 30 to 120 months. The Court of Appeals, O'brien, P.J. , Kelly and Fort Hood. upheld Rev Pinkney conviction holding that MCL168.937 created the substantive offense of election-law forgery. 316mich app450 2016. Defendant applied for leave to appeal in the Supreme Court, which ordered and heard oral argument on whether to grant the application or take other peremptory action. 500 mich990 2017.
In a unanimous opinion by supreme court judges and by Justice Viviano, the Supreme court , in lieu of granting leave to appeal. HELD
MCL 168.937 BY IT'S PLAIN LANGUAGE, IS ONLY A PENALTY PROVISION, IT DOES NOT SET A SUBSTANTIVE OFFENSE. AS A RESULT DEFENDANT REV PINKNEY WAS NOT PROPERLY CHARGED UNDER THAT PROVISION WITH SUBSTANTIVE OFFENSE OF ELECTION FORGERY. THERE , HIS CONVICTION MUST BE VACATED AND CHARGES DISMISSED.