Video of U.S. House Judiciary Michigan Event

On December 14, 2009, the United States House Judiciary Committee sponsored an event in Detroit to focus attention on the national indigent defense crisis.  The Chief Justice of Michigan gave the keynote speech to start the day that was one of the strongest speeches by a sitting chief justice on the failure of a state to uphold Gideon and its progeny.  From there a panel of local and national experts, including NLADA's own Jo-Ann Wallace, debated what federal and state governments should do to remedy the crisis.  Highlights included a very conservative trial-level judge taking up the cause of having the judiciary removed entirely from the oversight of indigent defense and a Republican legislator calling for decriminalization of low-level offenses to reduce workload.  Watch the event, Briefing on Solutions to Indigent Defense Crisis (Part I & Part II) now!

The afternoon hearing of the Michigan house judiciary committee went just as well.  The prosecutor from Wayne County (Detroit) testified in favor of the bill.  And, after the sister of Eddie Joe Lloyd testified about his wrongful conviction, a conservative legislator said he was voting for the bill because he saw the damage to the victim's family when prosecutors had to tell them the wrong person was in prison for 17 years while the true perpetrator remained at large.  We hope to have video of this portion in the near future!

Author/Organization: David Carroll
Publication Date: 02/09/2010