Mich. AG’s Anticrime Plan: Critics Cite Politics

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Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is starting new crime-fighting initiatives, including a review of unsolved murder cases and a crackdown on sex offenders who fail to register their addresses.

In an interview with The Detroit News, Cox invited prosecutors in smaller counties to refer tough cases to his office.

University of Detroit Mercy Law Professor Larry Dubin cautioned Cox to pay heed to his office’s core responsibilities, such as consumer protection. Only a handful of county prosecutors have consumer protection divisions.

Critics say Cox, a Republican, is positioning himself for higher office. His name has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Butch Hollowell, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, said “I don’t believe we have had as political an attorney general as Mike Cox in the state’s history. Frankly, he needs to be a lot more attorney and a lot less general.”

His predecessor as attorney general, Granholm, went from a little-known government attorney to attorney general. Her public profile increased through publicizing initiatives such as appearing on a news program with a hidden camera crew to show how cash registers scan higher prices than the prices marked on the tags.

Cox also is reviewing whether to propose changes in Michigan’s parole law. “Am I ready to say I think we should end parole? No,” he said. “Should we take a look at it, and what other states have done? Yes.” At least 15 states have eliminated parole.

Link: http://www.detnews.com/2003/metro/0310/14/c01-297578.htm

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