Supreme Court says restitution must fit the crime

Michigan Supreme Court: Restitution is limited to criminal conduct that leads to conviction
Posted on June 26, 2014 at 5:27 p.m.

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.

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