On October 13, Governor Rick Snyder issued an executive order creating an indigent defense advisory commission. Click here to read the executive order and click here to read the Campaign's press release. The press release from the Office of the Governor can be found here.
The Commission met on May 18 to review and discuss its findings and recommendations. The Commission voted to approve their draft documents with some changes. As soon as the finalized version is available it will be posted on our site.
At its meeting on April 20, the Commission adopted additional recommendations and discussed its findings.
On March 23, the Indigent Defense Advisory Commission adopted the policy recommendations drafted by the Structure and Policy Subcommittee. Those recommendations are available here. The commission will meet again on April 20 to continue its discussion on funding options and to discuss the findings that will be included in the final report.
On February 17, Frank Neuner, chairman of the Louisiana Public Defender Board, presented at the commission meeting. Click here to view his PowerPoint presentation. The commission also received public testimony from Timothy Baughman, chief appellate attorney at the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and William Winters and Susan Reed from the Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar Association. Chairman Fisher appointed members to two commission workgroups. One workgroup will focus on developing recommendations for a commission while the other will focus on funding issues.
On January 20, Peter Ozanne, commissioner for the Oregon Public Defense Services Commission, and Nancy Cozine, executive director of the Oregon Office of Public Defense Services, presented at the commission meeting. Click here to view their PowerPoint presentation. Paul Stankewitz from the Michigan Catholic Conference testified during public comment. Click here to read his testimony.
On December 16, 2011, the commission heard invited testimony from Jim Samuels (Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan), Kevin Oeffner (Oakland County Circuit Court), Jeff Sauter (Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan), and Michelle Weemhoff (Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency).
The Campaign for Justice worked with the following individuals to testify during public comment or submit testimony (click on the link to read written testimony):
On December 2, 2011, the Indigent Defense Advisory Commission held its first public hearing at the State Bar of Michigan and received testimony from four organizations.
Nancy Diehl and Thomas Cranmer represented the State Bar of Michigan and spoke about the workings of the criminal justice system and the history of the State Bar’s involvement. David Carroll represented the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and presented the authority, methodology and findings of the 2008 Race to the Bottom report on Michigan’s trial-level public defense system. SADO’s own Dawn Van Hoek presented the history of appellate defense reform in Michigan and how funds can be saved with a more effective trial-level defense system. Finally, Peter Cunningham and Ken Mogill represented the Campaign for Justice and spoke about the human face of the problem, why reform is needed, and the ongoing devolution of public defense systems across the state.