Lawmaker believes law will ensure equal access to justice
State Rep. Kurt Heise, chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee, applauded a new law, Public Act 93 of 2013, signed by Gov. Rick Snyder today that improves Michigan’s indigent defense system.
PA 93 of 2013 establishes the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) which helps to ensure that the constitutional requirements for legal representation for indigent people are met and provided for.
“To protect freedom and liberty, it is critical that the government provides equal access to justice for all citizens,” said Heise, R-Plymouth. “By ensuring all citizens have equal access to competent and effective legal representation the government is providing the most basic protections to individual liberties and thereby providing safeguards to freedom and justice.”
Under the legislation, MIDC would be responsible for creating standards of indigent defense counsel to ensure that constitutional requirements are met, develop requirements by which a person may claim indigence, and provide funding for functions to implement these standards.
“Michigan needed to do a better job of ensuring equal justice to its residents,” Heise said. “Creating the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission is a common-sense measure to ensure a long-term solution to protect the constitutional rights for all citizens.
“This law truly is a win for liberty and justice for all.”