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Compensation for Wrongfully Convicted in Michigan Unanimously Passes Senate; House Must Now Act

By Nick Moroni

Yesterday, the Michigan Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation (SB 0291/HB 4536) that would provide the wrongfully convicted compensation and re-entry services for the years that were taken from them through unjust imprisonment, CBS Detroit reported. The bill, which has been championed for years by wrongfully convicted Michiganders, the Michigan Innocence Clinic and the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Innocence Project, now needs to pass the state’s House of Representatives before being sent to the governor for his signature.

The Innocence Project, the Michigan Innocence Clinic and the Cooley Innocence Project sent an action alert today urging Michiganders to contact their representatives in the House and urge them to pass this important bill. Click here to TAKE ACTION!

SB 0291/HB 4536 would provide the wrongfully convicted $50,000 per year of wrongful incarceration, reimburse attorney fees and furnish re-entry services. By passing this legislation, Michigan would no longer be among the minority of states that do not have compensation statutes. Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia provide the wrongfully convicted with some form of compensation.

According to CBS Detroit, Michigan has the fifth highest number of wrongfully convicted persons that have been released in the nation. One such person, Davontae Sanford, 23, was just released this week, after serving eight years (and nearly all of his adolescence) in prison for a murder that he did not commit. Sanford was represented by Innocence Network members the Michigan Innocence Clinic and the Center on Wrongful Conviction of Youth at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

The wrongfully convicted face profound difficulties when re-integrating into society, among those challenges: a lack of educational and vocational opportunities, mental, emotional and physical trauma, difficulty finding housing, and much more. Adequate and immediate compensation and re-entry services are absolutely essential in order to assist the innocent in making a successful transition back to everyday life.

Michiganders are urged to TAKE ACTION and urge the Michigan House of Representatives to pass this important legislation.

 

Related: Davontae Sanford Released After Nine Years in Prison

5 Comments

  1. Matt Sullivan

    My name is Matt Sullivan and I am a Forensic Science teacher at Fenton High School in Fenton, Michigan. I am having my students write their local politician asking why Michigan does not have compensation for wrongfully convicted prisoners. We did this last year as well but I did not direct them who to write to. Can you help me direct them so that they are writing the most relevant representative?

  2. Edward Carter

    Edward Carter. Free after Nearly 40 years. Released April 14,2010 Goggle it. Peace.

  3. Joyce

    I am from Texas, not Michigan, and until 10? Years ago, for the death penalty. The injustice, the “normalcy”, the “expectancy”, of lying, cheating, planting evidence, and coercion of all these by the police department and department of justice is unconscionable.
    I feel the only remedy is to create an environment that not only encourages prosecution, but DEMANDS prosecution, of ANY individual, the clerk, stenographer, the police, the attorneys, the prosecutors, and the judges and appeal and pardon boards.
    As Benjamin Franklin said; That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.

  4. Maxine Knox

    Sorry it took so many years Me Carter
    Mr. Sullivan thanks for your help please read my story
    Thank you

  5. Maxine Knox

    Mother cry
    My son has been in jail for over 20 years he received life for a crime he did do. He took a bench trial because of the advice of his lawyer an he believed in the system.
    He didn’t take a plea bargain be he didn’t do this crime., he had taken 2 test an pass.the 2 people who gave the test stated that he didn’t do this crime,the judge order another test (why) this one my son failed the guy who gave the test was about 75 yrs old the judge accepted his test (why) the officer whe arrested my son stated my son didn’t do the crime. 2 people recanted their story an said the lied an my son was innocent the judge didn’t accept this. We believed in the system in no way did we believed my son would get life , .we are asking for help or information to free
    Willie Sanders #260011
    Muskegon correction
    2400 So. Sheridan Dr.
    Muskegon Mi 49442

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