BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Michigan judges can’t order a convict to pay restitution for crimes that weren’t charged.
The state Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a man in a case of stolen air conditioners. Matthew McKinley was ordered by a Calhoun County judge to pay $64,000 to his victims, plus $94,000 to victims who also lost air conditioners.
But there’s a hitch: McKinley was never charged with the other thefts, despite suspicions that they were part of his crimes.
In a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Michigan law doesn’t allow restitution for conduct that’s not charged. The court says McKinley can’t be ordered to pay the additional $94,000.
Justice Michael Cavanagh disagreed.