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Michigan Trial Court Funding commission

CREEM Magazine founder Barry Kramer, editor Dave Marsh, and editor Lester Bangs sitting on a stoop near the CREEM offices on Cass Avenue in Detroit.
Charlie Auringer

Today on Stateside, a report from a state commission says that the state's trial court funding system is "broken." Plus, we talk to the producers of a documentary about CREEM, a Detroit-based rock n' roll magazine that rivaled Rolling Stone during the 1970s and 1980s. 

Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan's trial court funding system is "broken." That's according to a study released Monday by the Michigan Trial Court Funding Commission.

Tom Boyd is chair of the Commission. He told Stateside that trial court judges are responsible for raising money to operate the courts, and it often influences their rulings.

“It isn't to say that criminals who can afford to pay fines shouldn't pay fines. We're not saying that at all,” Boyd said. “The question is should there be a connection between the amount of money that comes into a court and the amount of money available to run the court?”

Scott / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

What is the most appropriate way to pay for criminal courts in Michigan? That's the essential question before the Michigan Trial Court Funding Commission.

The commission is grappling with how much of the cost of administering justice should be paid for by the people who use the courts, i.e. those who are ticketed and/or arrested -- and how much of the financial burden should fall to citizens, regardless of whether or not they'll ever see the inside of a courtroom.