Politics
6:24 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Public defender system could get overhaul in 2012

Michigan's system for providing legal defense for poor people may be revamped in 2012. 

Michigan’s public defense system is one of the worst-ranked in the country. In many counties, public defenders are poorly trained and overburdened.

“[A] patchwork of 83 systems and systems inside of those systems just is an embarrassment," said Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills). "We need to really get a better handle to try to ensure justice.”

McMillin says he’d like to introduce legislation in the first half of the year that would dramatically change how public defenders are trained and paid in Michigan.