Snyder Seeks More For Indigent Defense

From the Associated Press — One of the largest funding increases included in Governor Rick Snyder’s budget proposal would go toward improving court-provided legal defense for poor people accused of crimes. Snyder said Wednesday the $46 million in proposed spending is needed to comply with a law he signed more than four years ago. He told legislators that if people are accused of crimes and don’t have money to hire a lawyer, “they should have a reasonable defense.” The spending would help meet four initial standards approved last year. Those include ensuring that defense counsel is at the defendant’s first court appearance and other critical stages, and that the public defender has resources to retain experts.