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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Michigan Supreme Court looking at decision to reject DNA expert

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Michigan Dept of Corrections
Johnny Ray Kennedy'

  DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court is looking at the case of a Detroit-area man who was convicted of murder based on DNA.

  The issue is whether Johnny Ray Kennedy's rights were violated when a judge refused to appoint an expert at public expense who could help the defense.

  DNA was critical to the case, especially because Kennedy was charged with murder 20 years after the crime. Prosecutors had two experts who could talk to jurors about DNA but Kennedy had none at the 2014 trial.

  In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court said Wayne County Judge Craig Strong didn't abuse his discretion. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the months ahead.

  The 60-year-old Kennedy is serving a life sentence.