Broken laws, broken lives, and a broken system. In this week's Rights Review, we hear what the former Mayor of Detroit thinks of our work. Also, are you mad about Michigan's law allowing discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity? 

Michigan News

Broken Lives and a Broken System

This week, our offices were full of video cameras, reporters and the people our justice system has failed as we released our new report  Faces of Failing Public Defense Systems: Portraits of Michigan’s Constitutional Crisis.

Written with the Michigan Campaign for Justice, the report documents Michigan’s failure to provide constitutionally adequate legal representation and the devastating impact on the lives of 13 men caught in this broken system (via the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press).

Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and Richard McLellan wrote a powerful opinion in the Detroit Free Press decrying this injustice and urging legislators to protect the fundamental right of poor people accused of crimes.

In Lansing: Speak Up Against Discrimination

Shocking but true: under Michigan's current civil rights law, anyone can be fired from their job or be denied housing because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

On Wednesday, May 25, people from across the state will gather at the Capitol in Lansing to send a strong message: this discrimination has no place in Michigan.

Join us and speak with your elected officials about the need to reform Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Before you visit your State Senator and Representative, we will provide training on how to get your voice heard.

This event is sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion and Equality Michigan (via Between The Lines).


Locking the Door on Michigan's Children

National news is also local news this week, as the ACLU Blog of Rights covers the Michigan law that requires children as young as 14 be given mandatory life sentences when convicted of certain crimes.

We're challenging this law in court, as we believe that locking children up to spend the rest of their lives in prison without a chance of release regardless of their growth and rehabilitation is cruel and unusual punishment (via the Blog of Rights).