The sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes it clear: any citizen accused of a crime will--if necessary--have access to qualified legal representation in court. Many legal professionals think that guarantee has been seriously compromised in Michigan for many years. The state often ranks low in assessments of its system of indigent defense. In recent years, several efforts by the state legislature to strengthen the system have failed.
Chief Judge of the 55th District Court Thomas Boyd is an advocate for reform of public defense. He joins Current State to explain what’s wrong with Michigan’s system and why it needs to change.