Michigan Trial Court Funding commission | Michigan Radio

Michigan Trial Court Funding commission

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Today on Stateside, what impact does the impeachment inquiry into President Trump have on the auto industry? Plus, a new memoir about the price people pay when they are displaced from their true roots, generation after generation.

A courtroom
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A final report released Thursday by the Michigan Trial Court Funding Commission calls Michigan's court funding system "broken."

The report finds criminal defendants are charged more than 418 million dollars in fines and fees each year.

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. 

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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?”

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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.