"Tell me, who are the criminals?"

Jamaican singer Peter Tosh once asked the question in song, "Tell me, who are the criminals?" The excerpt that follows are the exact words used by the Michigan Court of Appeals in People v Livermore, 9 Mich App 47. We have only added emphasis to certain phrases.


"Defendant, Julie Livermore, was charged with, and convicted by jury trial of, committing an act of gross indecency with another female person... Defendant was sentenced to a term of 1-1/2 to 5 years in the Detroit house of correction...

Defendant visited Mrs. Carolyn French at the public camping grounds at Sunrise Lake in Osceola county, Michigan...About 9 p.m. that same evening, defendant and Mrs. French were observed, by complainant Jerry Branch and others, to be in close bodily contact with each other...

Later, on receiving a complaint, Troopers Robert Bratschi and LeRoy Fladseth of the Michigan State police, proceeded to the Sunrise lake camping grounds. They arrived there about midnight, talked to the complainant and others and then stood within 15 feet of the French tent. Obscene language and conversation indicative of sexual conduct occurring between 2 female persons was overheard by the troopers for about 10 minutes...

They approached the tent, identified themselves as State police officers, and requested admittance; there was no reply; the troopers unzipped the outer flap, and aided by a flashlight observed a cot located directly in front of the doorway on which defendant and Mrs. French were lying, partially covered by a blanket; the 2 females were advised that they were under arrest and after taking several flash pictures, the troopers permitted them to dress in private...

We conclude that there was probable cause justifying an arrest without a warrant...These facts and circumstances would permit any fair-minded man of average intelligence and judgment to believe that a felony had been or was being committed...

In passing on the motion for dismissal or nonsuit, the State's evidence must be taken as true, and viewed in the light most favorable to the State, which is entitled to the benefit of every reasonable inference to be drawn therefrom...

We find that the evidence presented by the prosecution was sufficient to sustain defendant's conviction.
Affirmed."


Study questions

You break into a tent in the middle of the night, and start taking nude flash photos of the people inside. Who goes to jail?

You believe the actions of the police and prosecutor were wrong. Are you (a) not fair-minded, or (b) not a man?

Bonus question: How many people saw these photos? (Hint: a jury has 12 people, the prosecutor has a boss, and lots of men work at State Police posts).



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