On Tuesday, August 21, Lorinda Swain called Kate Branham of PI, to tell her the good news. Judge Sindt, the judge in her original trial, ruled in her favor, granting her a new trial!
Lorinda has spent eight years in prison and three years out on a tether during her appeal. Sentenced to 30 to 50 years convicted solely on the testimony of her adopted son. Ronnie, her son, has long since recanted his testimony. He says the story was all a fabrication; a child’s attempt to take the spotlight off his own misbehavior at the time.
But, even after three years in appeal and the only evidence removed from the table, Lorinda continues to live in limbo. After two favorable rulings by the court, Calhoun County prosecutor, Susan K. Mladenoff may move for the new trial, appeal the judge’s decision or drop the charges. Lorinda has said “every time the phone rings, I jump…wondering if it’s the call which will send me back to prison.” And even though the ruling by the Judge is in her favor, she will continue to live every day as she has these last three, jumping every time the phone rings.
Click on “Read More” below to see the Wood TV (Grand Rapids)video story.
There remains no evidence now that Ronnie has recanted. The crime was simply never committed. So Mladenoff will only either appeal or drop the charges. In this case, the prosecutor has already appealed ad nauseum, wasting taxpayer money and most importantly years of Lorinda’s life. Traditionally, the courts and prosecutors incline against accepting post-trial recantations. And Mladenoff appears almost pathological in her defense of her office’s “win”, seemingly more concerned with the scoreboard than the fact that there is no evidence in this case.
You may download Judge Sindt's judgment for yourself. He did not grant her a new trial based on all the issues brought by the Michigan Innocence Clinic, but only one is necessary. The most significant charge by the defense against the prosecution was the failure to turn over exculpatory evidence, something which happens often as a result of tunnel vision, but sometimes due to dishonesty.
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Angelo Henderson Radio Download
In 2012 Ken Wyniemko was a special guest of Richard Bernstein, who served as co-host with the late Angelo Henderson on 1200 AM Detroit Radio. This segment of the show was dedicated to understanding wrongful convictions and what can be done to free the wrongfully convicted and prevent others from this fate.
In The Research Corner, Professor Marvin Zalman presents summaries of current academic research on wrongful conviction in a succinct and readable format. We hope that the summaries will provide you with a more sophisticated understanding of innocence issues and stimulate further interest.