2019 NLADA Annual Conference-Innovative Justice has ended
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avatar for Jonathan Sacks

Jonathan Sacks

Michigan State Appellate Defender Office
Detroit MI
A career public defender, Jonathan Sacks is the Director of the Michigan State Appellate Defender Office (SADO). He previously served as the first Executive Director of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, where his work culminated in Michigan’s first minimum standards for indigent defense at trial and the submission of over 130 plans from counties and municipalities to comply with these standards. Jonathan served as Deputy Director for eight years at SADO after starting as an Assistant Defender. At SADO, he has set up projects involving early release of people serving jail sentences during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, representation of young people serving unconstitutional mandatory life without parole sentences, review of the failed Detroit Crime Lab, pre-screening convicted people for claims of actual innocence, and social worker sentencing assistance. Jonathan has also worked as an assistant defender, major trials attorney, and felony trial supervisor at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. He served as the public defender and criminal defense attorney representative on the Michigan Task Force on Forensic Science.