Hugh Clarke Jr. photo
Courtesy photo / Ingham County District Court

One of the criminal justice issues being discussed during this year’s One Book, One Community program is mandatory minimum sentences. The Michigan Supreme Court eliminated mandatory minimums earlier this year. We talk with District Court Judge Hugh Clarke Jr. and MSU criminal justice professor Christopher Smith in advance of a forum on the subject tonight.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last month, 40-year-old Richard Bernstein was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. He’s widely known for his work with his father’s Michigan-based law firm. His brother and sister are also part of the Sam Bernstein team, and all are well known from the firm’s television advertising.

Flickr - James Joel

This is an important time of year for the legal profession. Both the U-S and Michigan Supreme Courts begin hearing oral arguments this week. The American judicial system traces its roots back to English common law. And now, an iconic symbol of our legal heritage has come to Ann Arbor for public display.

In the last thirty years, a Lansing resident by the name of David Lee Arnold has been convicted of indecent exposure 17 times, that’s according to the Lansing State Journal. Today, Arnold will appear in Ingham County Circuit Court to receive his sentencing for exposing his genitals at three different coffee shops in East Lansing and Meridian Township since 2013. Current State has learned that it’s expected that part of his sentencing agreement with Judge Rosemarie Aquilina today will include the requirement that Arnold must be injected with a medication called Depo-Lupron. Both Arnold’s attorney and the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

Michigan courts, especially District Courts, assess criminal defendants all sorts of fines and fees. This revenue is crucial for cities and counties, and these fines and fees vary widely across Michigan. Ingham County relies on them for $800,000 of its annual budget. The District Court in East Lansing, according to city budget numbers, has netted the city $3-million a year for the past three years. It’s one of the only departments that actually makes money for the city.