Ionia County prosecutor appointed to state commission


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:39 am on Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ronald Schafer

LANSING — The Ionia County prosecutor has been appointed to the newly established Michigan Indigent Defense Advisory Commission.
Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Ron Schafer and 13 others to the commission, which was created to investigate how to improve legal representation provided to low-income criminal defendants. The commission also will make recommendations about how to ensure legal representation provided to low-income residents in the criminal justice system is consistent across the state.
Schafer, who lives in Portland, previously served as chief assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia and Washtenaw counties. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from the Detroit College of Law.
He will represent the interests of prosecuting attorneys on the commission.
“I’m honored and pleased to be selected by Gov. Snyder to serve on this commission,” Schafer told The Daily News. “I look forward to getting started on the very important task of addressing indigent defense across the state. Our system of justice works best when both the prosecution and defense has representation that is capable, skilled and has access to suitable resources.”
Snyder said the commission is needed because the quality of legal representation provided to defendants who are unable to pay for their own legal defense varies greatly across the state.
“A core principle of our criminal justice system is to guarantee that an individual charged with a crime be entitled to legal representation, even if they are unable to hire private counsel,” Snyder said. “The commission will work to ensure that all criminal defendants receive effective assistance of counsel.”
All appointees will serve until December 2012 at the pleasure of the governor.

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