Bifurcated Trial Factors Michigan

In People v. Donaldson, 65 Mich App 588, 590; 237 NW2d 570 (1975), the Court concluded that two factors should be considered in determining whether a bifurcated trial should be granted: (1) whether the defendant has a meritorious defense; (2) whether a substantial claim of insanity exists that is related to the incident. The trial court suggested that "where an insanity defense is alleged together with a defense on the merits, the trial should be bifurcated, because substantial prejudice may result from the simultaneous trial on a plea of insanity and not guilty." Id. The Court concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to bifurcate because, "considering the probable expenditure of great additional time and resources, defendant has not shown that such an unusual step is necessary or warranted in this case." Id.