The report details 13 cases of men who were wrongly convicted or, at least, convicted on suspect grounds. In each case, the men received an inadequate defense because of court-provided attorneys who did not have the time, resources or ability to adequately do the job.
Michigan is one of only seven states that leaves trial-level indigent defense entirely to counties. Counties set their own pay rates for attorneys and maintain wildly varied standards for representation. In Wayne County, for instance, part-time public defenders handle as many as 2,800 cases each year, an unworkable caseload that far exceeds national standards for public defenders.
No surprise then that Michigan has one of the worst public defender systems in the nation, according to a 2008 report from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association...
The full Campaign for Justice report can be found at: