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MAACS Accepting Applications to join the Appellate Assigned Counsel Roster

The Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS) is accepting applications to join the assigned counsel roster. This is a competitive process and MAACS encourages applications from conscientious appellate lawyers with diverse experiences and backgrounds, especially those who are committed to representing indigent clients and contributing to the reform of Michigan’s indigent defense system. Read More


How Metadata from Facebook, Cell Phone Photos, and Cell Towers led to the Exoneration of Derrick Bunkley

Derrick Bunkley was represented on appeal by SADO Assistant Defender Doug Baker. In this article, Doug takes the reader through the arrest, the trial, and the appellate investigation that eventually led to a stipulation by the prosecution to vacate Derrick’s convictions and to dismiss the charges. There are a lot of good lessons here, for both trial and appellate counsel, when confronted with a case where technological data could prove a client’s true whereabouts. Read More


The Status of Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentences following Montgomery v Louisiana

On January 25, 2016, the United States Supreme Court in Montgomery v Louisiana, __ US __; (Docket No. 14-280, issued 1/25/16), ruled the decision in Miller v Alabama, 567 US __; 132 S Ct 2455 (2012) fully retroactive1 to all juvenile mandatory life without parole homicide sentences. In Miller, the Court held the imposition of a mandatory life without parole sentence for a juvenile under the age of 18 on the date of the offense violates the Eight Amendment prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishment.” While the Michigan Supreme Court previously ruled the Miller opinion was not retroactive to Michigan cases which were no longer pending on direct appeal [People v Carp, 298 Mich 472 (2012)], that decision has now been overruled by the Montgomery opinion. 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.