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December 2, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement in response to House Bills 4798 and 4974 passing the Michigan House:
"Above all else, the purpose of our laws is to protect the safety and security of victims. I recognize there is a delicate balance between that protection and the due process rights of defendants, and believe these bills properly support both. I applaud Representatives in the House for passing this important legislation and am hopeful the Senate will do the same."
In September, Nessel provided testimony before the Michigan House Judiciary Committee in support of the bills.
The bills address safety concerns created in March when the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a decision in People of the State of Michigan v. Ricky Dale Jack. The ruling holds that a prosecutor must provide the addresses and telephone numbers of victims and witnesses when turning over discovery under the Michigan Court Rules.
Nessel filed an amicus brief later that month in support of the People's emergency application before the Michigan Supreme Court to protect the personal information of victims and witnesses in prosecutions. The Court denied that application in June, making legislative action even more important to protect victims and witnesses involved in prosecutions.