Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court
No. SCWC-11-0000758, Thursday, August 15, 2013, 8:45 a.m.
STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee vs. MICHAEL W. BASHAM, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant, and ALIIKEA BASHAM, aka Aliikea I. Basham, Defendant.
The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:
Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Attorney for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant:
Summer M.M. Kupau, Deputy Public Defender
Attorney for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee:
James M. Anderson, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 05/09/13.
NOTE: Order granting motion to continue oral argument from 07/11/13 to 08/15/13 at 8:45 a.m., filed 07/10/13.
COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, SSM, & RWP, JJ.
Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant Michael W. Basham timely filed an application for writ of certiorari to review the January 31, 2013 judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA), issued pursuant to its December 31, 2012 summary disposition order. The ICA’s judgment affirmed the Circuit Court of the First Circuit’s (circuit court) June 14, 2011 judgment of conviction and sentence.
Basham was tried by a jury and found guilty of assault in the first degree. He was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment. On appeal to the ICA, Basham contended in relevant part that the circuit court abused its discretion by denying his motion for mistrial in light of several instances of prosecutorial misconduct during the prosecutor’s closing argument. Basham argued that: 1) the prosecutor impermissibly suggested that Basham lied to the police, although Basham did not testify at trial; and 2) the prosecutor misstated the law on accomplice liability by defining the words “facilitate” and “promote.” Basham also argued that there was insufficient evidence to sustain his conviction.
The ICA found that: 1) the prosecutor made a permissible and reasonable inference based on the evidence that Basham had misrepresented himself to the police; and 2) the prosecutor did not misstate the law in his closing argument, but referenced the plain meaning of the words. The ICA further found that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction. In his application, Basham maintains that the ICA gravely erred in making these determinations and in affirming his conviction.