The Duncan Decision

Taken from the Michigan Campaign for Justice Newsletter - Dec 2, 2010

Yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed its own ruling from July and reaffirmed the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling in Duncan et. al. v. State of Michigan sending the case back to the Ingham County Circuit Court for further hearings.  Click here to read the order.

In 2009, the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected the State of Michigan’s request to dismiss Duncan.  As you know, in the Duncan case, plaintiffs asked the court to declare that failures in Michigan’s public defense system violated their right to counsel under the U.S. and Michigan Constitutions. In April 2010, the Supreme Court affirmed the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling in Duncan only to reverse itself with another ruling three months later. 

Laura Sager, executive director of the Campaign for Justice, said yesterday that:

“As the nonpartisan coalition working with state lawmakers to reform Michigan’s failing public defense system, we are very pleased that the Supreme Court has reversed course and ruled once again to allow the Duncan case to move forward.   This ruling is good news and it is a call to action for new state lawmakers preparing to come to Lansing in January that as they develop their Michigan reform agenda, public defense reform is an important constitutional problem that requires their attention.”

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