The Detroit Free Press has reported Michigan the first coronavirus case at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility. This brings the number of state prisoners to 24 along with seven Michigan Department of Corrections employees that have tested positive for the disease. What this means to the future of criminal justice in our state is up for debate. To gain insight into the matter, we spoke to three of the top criminal lawyers in our state.
Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and has built a firm that is known as the top criminal defense team in the state of Michigan. Grabel provided commentary when he said, “The biggest concern is that we don’t know where the end will be. Michigan Senator Erika Geiss told the press that Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility had failed women, and the coronavirus intersects with underlying issues. The biggest issue is that inmates cannot stay 6 feet apart from one another. This is a crisis that is growing worse by the day. The criminal justice community needs to come together right now.”
William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates in Lansing, Michigan. Amadeo is known as the top criminal defense lawyer in Washtenaw County and provided commentary when he said, “Resolutions, am I the only one that sees the need for this right now? I have been in touch with 18 prosecutors today to try and resolve matters. Four of them answered, and most are in a wait and see mode. I have absolutely no issue going to trial, but this is a time when we need to look outside of the box. I’ll leave the ball in the prosecutor’s court right now.”
Lane Zabawa is one of the top criminal defense lawyers in Eaton and Kent County, Michigan. When asked about this issue, Zabawa stated, “I do a lot of estate planning in addition to criminal law. When the Huron Valley story broke, we have several people call us about wills, estates, and trusts. William (Amadeo) made a great point about resolutions right now, and We need to work as a team. Things may be bleak for a while.”
While the issue of COVID-19 is one that has concerned the news media, Michigan has appeared to be the state that has been most adversely affected by the disease. This is a time for teamwork across the board.