Push continues to fix Mich.'s indigent defense

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Advocates are cautiously optimistic that lawmakers are close to agreeing on fixes to Michigan's public defense system.

Almost five years have passed since a study showed poor criminal defendants are routinely processed through the justice system without speaking to an attorney in violation of the Constitution.

It's been nearly a year since a group appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder recommended changes.

Bills getting hearings last week and this week in Lansing would lead to the creation of state standards so counties are forced to bring legal aid up to par. Counties have remaining concerns about the legislation.

But they might drop their opposition if changes are made to ensure the state doesn't have too much power.

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