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Lansing State Journal Study: Michigan Counties Spend At Least $108 Million More On Prosecution Than On Indigent Defense

Counties Seek $87 Million to Comply with New State Standards for Indigent Defense

A recent study by the Lansing State Journal finds that Michigan counties currently spend “at least $108 million more” on prosecuting people accused of crimes than they do on providing constitutionally required representation for persons who cannot afford a lawyer. One Michigan county spends 20 times more, the study reports. The study is based on grant requests submitted to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC), which the Journal obtained through a FOIA request. Eighty-two Michigan counties have submitted grant requests to the MIDC seeking state funding to help them meet the new standards. Read More


SADO Seeks Summer Interns

Applications considered through February 23, 2018

The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) is seeking first and second-year law students for fulltime summer 2018 internships in the Detroit office. SADO provides representation to indigent clients who appeal their state criminal convictions.The SADO summer internship program runs from late May 2018 through early August 2018. Interns will assist as second chair with some combination of client communication, investigation, legal research, brief writing, and trial court hearings. The internship is unpaid, but SADO will assist in securing course credit or fellowship funding. Read More


SADO Juvenile Lifer Unit Seeks Summer Interns

Applications considered through February 23, 2018

The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) Juvenile Lifer Unit is seeking first and second year law students for full-time summer 2018 internships in the Detroit and Lansing offices. SADO provides representation to indigent clients who appeal their state criminal convictions. The 2018 Juvenile Lifer Unit summer interns will work directly with the Juvenile Lifer Unit attorneys. SADO represents nearly two-thirds of Michigan’s 360 juvenile lifers currently serving unconstitutional sentences, and is responsible for developing mitigation and litigation strategies for resentencing hearings conducted pursuant to MCL 769.25a and Miller v Alabama, 567 US 460 (2012). SADO seeks qualified interns to work collaboratively within Juvenile Lifer Unit teams. Read More


SADO's Juvenile Lifer Unit Secures Term of Years Sentences for Clients formerly Sentenced to Life Without Parole

Michigan's Juvenile Lifers--individuals sentenced to mandatory life without parole for offenses they committed as children age 17 years old or under--are entitled to resentencing following Montgomery v Louisiana, __ US __; (Docket No. 14-280, issued 1/25/16), and pursuant to the procedures set forth in MCL 769.25a. In July 2016, prosecutor offices around the state filed motions seeking the re-imposition of life without parole sentences for approximately 229 of Michigan's approximately 363 juvenile lifers. Resentencing hearings will take place over an expanded period of time. In these cases, the prosecution will continue to seek the re-imposition of a life sentence while defense counsel will seek the imposition of a term of years sentence, the minimum of which can be between 25 to 40 years and the maximum of which is 60 years, pursuant to MCL 769.25a. Read More


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This project was funded by the Byrne JAG grant #2010-DJ-BX-0003, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and administered by the Michigan state Police (MSP). Points of view or opinions contained within this document do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the MSP or DOJ.