DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court says it has no authority to intervene in the judgment of
then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who agreed to change a prisoner's no-parole sentence but
then changed her mind before leaving office in 2010.
The court said Friday it must respect the "clear and exclusive constitutional power" granted to Michigan governors in commutation matters.
Matthew Makowski is serving a life sentence for the fatal stabbing of a co-worker in Dearborn in 1988. He admits he arranged a robbery, but he wasn't present when it occurred and didn't know that it would lead to the death of Pietro "Pete" Puma.
Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.