Convicts paying for courts as lawmakers trump major ruling

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By: Associated Press

(Source: https://goo.gl/Un5i5Y License: https://goo.gl/VAhsB)

DETROIT (AP) — People convicted of crimes in Michigan are subsidizing the cost of operating local courts after the Legislature passed a law in 2014 to overcome a major ruling by the state Supreme Court.

The justices had unanimously stopped a practice that was bringing in millions from convicts. But the impact of that decision didn’t last long. Lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder approved a law to make recovery of court costs legal.

The Michigan Association of Counties had warned that the ruling could wreck courts across the state.

Convicts can be assessed a portion of court costs, such as salaries, maintenance and services. It can be $1,000 or more for felonies. Critics say it hits people who can’t afford it.

There will be more debate before the law expires in 2017.