criminal justice en The Zimmerman trial: A case of race and guns <p></p><p>Eighteen years ago, I was teaching a large “survey of the media” class at Wayne State University when word came that there was a verdict in the O.J. Simpson case. I put television on.</p><p>This was a Wayne State University class with almost equal numbers of black and white students. When it was announced that OJ had been acquitted of the murders of his wife and her friend, the reaction seemed almost Pavlovian.</p><p>The white students were openly disgusted. The black ones, pleased. Times have changed. Today, we have a black President.&nbsp;</p><p>But my guess is that if I had been teaching a similar class when the Trayvon Martin verdict was announced, I would have seen something like a mirror image. Certainly the African-Americans would have been outraged; though I am not sure the white students would have been all that pleased with George Zimmerman’s acquittal.</p><p> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:03:54 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 13526 at The Zimmerman trial: A case of race and guns State lawmakers to discuss proposed fixes to Michigan's "broken" indigent defense system <p>The State Senate Judiciary Committee takes up bills today that would greatly change Michigan’s indigent defense system.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>James Samuels is the president of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; He says the current system Michigan uses to provide attorneys for poor defendants is “broken”.</p><p></p><p>Samuels likes the proposed changes, including the way attorneys get contracts to represent indigent defendants.</p><p></p><p></p> Tue, 07 May 2013 05:00:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 12437 at State lawmakers to discuss proposed fixes to Michigan's "broken" indigent defense system New online database tracks US exonerations since 1989 <p>The University of Michigan Law School and the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law recently launched an <a href="">online database containing an updated list of exonerations</a> in the United States since 1989. The goal of the project is to prevent wrongful convictions or improve the process of identifying and correcting them should they occur.</p><p>So far, the National Registry of Exoneration lists more than 890 wrongfully convicted individuals.</p> Mon, 21 May 2012 17:26:36 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7550 at New online database tracks US exonerations since 1989 New report highlights challenges for Michigan's juvenile lifers <p>Teen offenders in Michigan are worse off than teens in other states.</p><p>That&#39;s according to<a href=""> a new report</a> from Michigan-based <a href="">Second Chances 4 Youth</a> and the state chapter of the <a href="">ACLU</a>.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 15 May 2012 18:26:41 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 7479 at New report highlights challenges for Michigan's juvenile lifers New Department of Corrections Chief named <p>Governor Rick Snyder has named Jackson County Sheriff Daniel Heyns as the new director of the Michigan Department of Corrections. He&#39;ll start his new duties on June 1st.</p><p>From the Governor&#39;s Press release:</p><blockquote><p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;">Heyns earned a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1973 and a master&rsquo;s in criminal justice, with a correctional administration focus, from Michigan State University in 1977.&nbsp; Heyns obtained his State of Michigan Police Officer Certification in 1981, is a graduate of the National FBI Academy and has completed special weapons and tactics training... </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;">Heyns, of Jackson, has served as Jackson County sheriff since 2003.&nbsp; He is responsible for a $12.5 million budget, a 450-bed jail operation, 911 central dispatch center and multiple specialized units including marine patrol, detective bureau, K-9, narcotics, traffic, firearms, Special Response Team and school liaison.&nbsp; He previously served as Jackson County undersheriff and was a captain in the Jackson County Sheriff&rsquo;s Department.</span></p></blockquote><p>The Associated Press notes that Heyns was a vocal opponent of Governor Granholm&#39;s plan to release more nonviolent prisoners eligible for parole. Wed, 20 Apr 2011 15:16:08 +0000 Mark Brush 2145 at