Counsel, Ineffective Assistance, Failure to Object to Bolstering and Hearsay

Criminal Law Update

People v Douglas, 296 Mich App 186; __ NW2d __ (2012)(april’12). Despite trial defense counsel’s testimony at a Ginther hearing that he failed to object to hearsay statements because his trial strategy was to show the complainant in a child sex abuse case told different stories to different people, the court of appeals found this failure to constitute ineffective assistance of counsel as the witness testimony was generally consistent. Moreover, defense counsel’s failure to object to bolstering testimony did not support his trial strategy, which was to convince the jury that complainant was not believable. Counsel was also ineffective for failing to impeach the complainant with inconsistent statements, including statements suggesting she was coached, made at the preliminary examination.