Lawyers Not Happy with New Indigent Defense Law

By: News 10
By: News 10

"I believe in the work, but now I'm going to have to file reports with some state agency that doesn't know anything about indigent defense."

One public defender we talked to calls the new law to help poor people get quality legal defense a step backward.

Governor Snyder signed it yesterday which creates a commission to study how the different counties provide lawyers to their poorest citizens and create state-wide standards.

"Not one penny has been allocated to indigent defenders. I still go in, I get my same pay check, and I do my same work and I do it with spirit. I believe in the work, but now I'm going to have to file reports with some state agency that doesn't know anything about indigent defense.
Michigan is one of just seven states that do not provide any state money for trial-level public defenders." - Barry Poulson - Hillsdale County Public Defender

The bills the governor signed require counties to fund the attorneys.

The state will cover any additional costs needed to set up the public defense systems, which could costs millions of dollars.


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