5:15 PM EST, December 4, 2012
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Lawyers for a Michigan inmate have asked the state appeals court to reinstate a decision that would release him from a life sentence.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm agreed to commute the no-parole sentence of Matthew Makowski in 2011, just before she left office. But Granholm changed her mind less than 48 hours later after the victim's family protested.
Makowski's attorneys say Granholm had no authority to reverse herself after documents were signed and filed. State lawyers say Michigan governors have broad powers when deciding whether to commute sentences.
The appeals court heard arguments Tuesday in Lansing.
Makowski was convicted of first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a co-worker in suburban Detroit. He didn't stab Pete Puma and wasn't present, but he had arranged the 1988 robbery.