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While most people will not admit it, criminal law is big business. There is a plan to place people in county jails and to send defendants to the Michigan Department of Corrections. That plan is not always punishment; it is also employment. In our criminal justice system, there is a lot of money that is spent on court costs, salaries for those on our bench, probation officers, prosecutors, and public defenders. The reality is that economics does play a role in people being incarcerated. With the advent of COVID-19, the cost to house inmates has risen dramatically.  With so many different agendas going on in our criminal justice system, there is some debate over whether safety and economics are colliding.?

Before COVID-19, the average cost to house an inmate in the state of Michigan was $35,809 per year.  In the federal prison system, the average price was $34,704.12 before the coronavirus.  Since COVID-19, the cost of medicine has gone up dramatically. With the danger of judicial economy being compromised, we are left to wonder how our legal system will handle this situation. To dig deeper into this situation, we have spoken to several attorneys in our state.

Matthew McManus is the Managing Member of McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  McManus has found success with his research on both the state and federal levels and has examined this issue at length. McManus stated, “On its face, there does not appear to be a big difference between the costs of state and federal incarceration. However, if you look deeper into the analysis, we see that Michigan did away with good time credit. When legislation was passed, eliminating good time credit, the government assured longer prison states.  This was a plan to create employment at the Michigan Department of Corrections and also provided a higher rate of taxes for the citizens of our state.”

When someone is suspected of a crime, it is often a time of great frustration.  The fear and anxiety set in and one questions whether or not they will have their freedom taken away.  Many people feel that talking to the police and cooperating is a smart move.  The reality is that nothing can be further from the truth.  How and what you should vary from county to county.  To provide a general overview of this topic, we are going to discuss how the Michigan State Police handle interrogation and what you should know about protecting yourself and your freedom.

   “The Reid Technique”

When the Michigan State Police do an interrogation, they utilize “The Reid Technique,” which is a form of questioning that has led to many false confessions.  “Reid” was used in cases such as “The West Memphis Three,” Brendan Dassey, and “The Central Park Five,” all of which led to a false confession and innocent people that became incarcerated.

Who would’ve thought that listening to lyrics could lead to incarceration? Is it possible that song lyrics could be deemed as a party admission in a court of law? Where does the line between the first amendment’s freedom of speech and one’s fifth amendment right not to incriminate one’s self collide?  This is an issue that we are dealing with in different counties in the State of Michigan.

The phenomenon of listening to rap lyrics to cause one to be arrested is an issue that has gained momentum over the past three years. In Wayne County, Michigan, where many aspiring rappers reside, the issue has become one of considerable controversy. Today, we will discuss the issue both nationally and in the Metro-Detroit, Michigan area.

“The National Issue”

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