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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Miller
People v. Deon Lamont Claypool
Citation:684 N.W.2d 278 (Mich. 2004)
Claypool (defendant) was arrested for selling crack cocaine. An undercover officer bought cocaine from Claypool on three separate occasions, each buy consisting of a larger amount. After the third transaction, Claypool was arrested and pled guilty to delivery of 50 or more, but less than 225 grams of cocaine. The offense has a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison, but Michigan law allows a court to depart from the sentencing guidelines if it has a substantial and compelling reason for the departure and states its reasons on the record. Claypool requested a downward departure from the mandatory minimum, arguing that the undercover officer repeatedly purchased cocaine from him and paid Claypool more than the going rate to persuade him to sell a larger quantity of cocaine than he would have otherwise. The court decided to depart downward two years from the mandatory minimum of ten years, citing Claypool’s age, minimal criminal history, stable employment history, and the fact that he was “escalated.”
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