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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Michigan Supreme Court watcher: Rise in unanimous rulings means “better justice”

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Flickr user Joe Gratz
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The Michigan Supreme Court has seen a sudden rise in unanimous decisions during the 2015-2016 term.

The old spiritual “Kumbaya” is a song of congregation and harmony. And it’s for this reason that the Michigan Supreme Court has earned the tag “The Kumbaya Court” from court-watchers due to an increase in the number of cases decided unanimously.

Through the 2015-2016 term, 81% of arguments held before the court have been unanimous decisions. In the previous two terms, only a little more than 50% of cases were decided unanimously.

 

Why the sudden rise in unanimous decisions?

Ron Bretz is a retired professor of Criminal Law and Procedure at Cooley Law School in Lansing. A former public defender, he’s been arguing before or keeping an eye on the Michigan Supreme Court for 40 years.

 

Bretz joined us to explain why the number of unanimous decisions has risen so suddenly.

GUEST Ron Bretz is a retired professor of Criminal Law and Procedure at Cooley Law School in Lansing.

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