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These are Your “Witnesses”?

After living for 32 years in prison, Fred Freeman has been granted another opportunity for a habeas petition. With that in mind, we are publishing updated articles addressing this horrible, malicious wrongful conviction.  This one discusses the incredibly weak and unreliable witnesses the prosecution presented to the jury. If you have never read about this case, you will shake your head in utter disbelief!

(Background: Fredrick Freeman was wrongfully convicted of the murder of Scott Macklem, who was shot in a Port Huron Community College parking lot on November 5, 1986. He was sentenced to the mandatory term of life in prison without parole and has now served 31 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Every impartial and professional assessment of his case has concluded that Freeman is wholly innocent.)

Introduction
temujink2Reliable witnesses are an important element for the defense or the prosecution in any crime. As you will see in the following, witnesses for Fred Freeman provide a solid, virtually unassailable alibi, while the prosecution’s witnesses offer no reasonable evidence or argument that Freeman was anywhere near the murder scene. Indeed, the prosecution’s key “witness” who claims to see Freeman leaving the scene, mostly obscured with clothing and the vehicle in which he is driving, first identifies the automobile as a sports car but later says it was a station wagon. That’s a credible witness?

Consider the following:
Witnesses for the Defense

Around the time of the murder, nine (9!!) disinterested witnesses place Fredrick Freeman in the Escanaba area of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan about 450 miles from the crime scene in Port Huron, Michigan. At the specific time of the crime (about 9 am), one alibi witness actually places him another twenty miles farther north in Rock/Perkins, Michigan. (That alibi witness passed two polygraph examinations). None of the nine witnesses were ever discredited or impeached at trial or since.

Witnesses for the Prosecution
What about the witnesses presented by the prosecution? Well, they either did not identify Freeman or were totally unreliable.

To begin with, the prosecution likes to suggest that there were three “witnesses” that identified Fred Freeman as being Scott Macklem’s killer. That is completely misleading. Though several people in the parking lot heard the shot that took the victim’s life, no one actually saw that shot.

The three prosecution “witnesses” offered by the prosecution were Cathy Ballard, Richard Krueger, and Rene Gobeyn.

First, Cathy Ballard did not pick Freeman from the photo or in-person line-ups and, in fact, picked a James Loxton who looks nothing like Freeman! Note that Cathy Ballard again in 2008 stated that she did not pick Freeman as the suspect in the crime.

Second, Richard Krueger not only did not pick Freeman from either the photo or in-person line-ups but he also picked James Loxton! More astounding, Krueger was never in the parking lot in question but actually in a lot farther away near the McMorran Arena – and Krueger saw his “suspect” an hour before the murder! Krueger saw no crime take place, and his alleged "suspect" was likely nothing more than a college student who had every reason to be there. However, at trial under pressure from the prosecutor, and without any objection from Freeman’s drug addicted lawyer, Krueger indicated it was Freeman he saw in another parking lot.

These two are “witnesses”? Really?

Third, Rene Gobeyn, was the prosecution’s primary witness. He claimed he saw Fred Freeman in what he admitted was only “a few seconds glance” at a vehicle in motion leaving the parking lot with a driver who “had a hat down to his eyes, collar up to his chin, and his head down”. Gobeyn’s “identification” was finally made only after illegal and improper hypnosis and after being shown a series of manipulated and suggestive photos highlighting Freeman among the others presented. In the in-person line-up, Gobeyn admitted actually knowing two members, meaning that Freeman was the only one left as the “brown-haired male” police were seeking.

Often overlooked in evaluating Gobeyn’s credibility (or, more accurately, lack thereof), is his totally unreliable “identification” of the suspect vehicle leaving the parking lot. Gobeyn gave the police at various times different vehicle models, makes, manufacturers, and colors. He changed the suspect vehicle dramatically from a “pinkish-tan Mazda RX 7” (pre-hypnosis) to later a “metallic-gold to light brown Ford Escort station wagon” (post hypnosis)! In other words, he first saw a sports car and later remember it as a station wagon. And this is a guy who was in a "Small Auto Body Class" and would have been very familiar with the different body styles common then.

This man can claim to ID a suspect obscured in a car but cannot even ID in any consistent and reliable way a vehicle? (Of course, no vehicle was ever tied to Freeman.)

Gobeyn was even more equivocal and unreliable when it comes to license plate numbers. He gave twelve wildly differing alleged “plate numbers”. Of the license plates Gobeyn identified, the prosecution focused on 882-DHH, which was then found to have been destroyed by Rinke Cadillac almost a year and a half before the murder when Freeman was living in Washington State.

It’s important to note that, though Gobeyn claimed to “really look at the car” and to “write the plate number down on his notepad in the parking lot”, the two witnesses right there with him (Cathy Ballard and Bob Mervich) both noted that Gobeyn did not write anything down, did not even seem to notice the vehicle, and did not comment to them whatsoever. Neither Mervich nor Ballard had any reason to lie "for" Fred; neither of them knew him.

Gobeyn was, in fact, a young man in a college criminal justice program seeking to impress and ingratiate himself with the Port Huron police department, of which he actually knew some of the personnel. Rene wanted to be both a “star witness” in a high profile case and, by his own admission, “a cop”. That explains a lot of his testimony.

Summary
To sum up:

dsandersportrait4Freeman’s defense has nine unimpeached witnesses placing him at least 450 miles from the murder scene.

The prosecution offers two witnesses who identify another man as the suspect in both photo and in-person line ups, and a third who can’t tell the difference between a sports car and a station wagon, yet is expected to reliably identify Freeman obscured within a moving automobile.

Dubious prosecution witnesses Krueger and Gobeyn are important because they are the only two people to indicate that Freeman was even in Port Huron at the time of the crime. No one else did.

Which set of witnesses is believable? Duh!

Finally, because the prosecution’s witness testimony was so weak, Prosecutor Cleland realized that he had to divert the jury’s attention from Freeman’s solid alibi. So what did he do? He speculated before the jury, with absolutely no evidence, that an indigent Freeman, along with others, conspired to undertake a costly airplane flight to Escanaba and back to kill Macklem – a conspiracy involving a pilot and ground transportation providers and dependent upon Freeman having intimate (and really unknowable) understanding of the victim’s schedule and habits. But that’s another story.

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Kensu Documentary

In 2006, Dean Mongan produce Justice Incarcerated, a 49 minute documentary detailing the issues in the Fred Freeman/Temujin Kensu case. He has recently posted on YouTube the entire video with updates including Judge Hood's overturning of Kensu's conviction and the State of Michigan appealing her ruling. If you want to see the perspectives and facts straight from those involved, this is well worth your time and should be seen by anyone concerned about justice in our country.

The ACLU and the Michigan Campaign for Justice unveiled on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011, the book Faces of Failing Public Defense Systems. Temujin is one of the cases presented.

Kensu Media Release 7 All 3 IPs Support Kensu!

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April 15, 2010
 
Contact:  B. David Sanders
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(586) 365-8395
For Immediate Release
 
Prominent Michigan Experts on Wrongful Convictions
Call for Release of Innocent Man 

 

Legal experts at the University of Michigan Law School and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School have joined Proving Innocence in concluding that Temujin Kensu is an innocent man who should be granted clemency by Governor Jennifer Granholm.  This new development adds more momentum to the many citizens seeking an end to one of Michigan’s most appalling miscarriages of justice.

Temujin Kensu (known as Frederick Freeman prior to his conversion to Buddhism) was wrongfully convicted of the shotgun killing of Scott Macklem in a college parking lot in Port Huron, Michigan on November 5, 1986.  Numerous witnesses have testified that he was 450 miles away in Escanaba on the day of the shooting.  Both Kensu and his primary alibi witness have passed polygraphs administered by former law enforcement examiners that show he had no part in the murder.  Kensu has now served more than 23 years behind bars for a crime the evidence shows he did not commit.

In a letter to the Governor’s legal advisor, Bridget McCormack and David Moran, Co-Directors of the Michigan Innocence Clinic of the University of Michigan Law School, stated that we “.  .  .  firmly believe that Mr. Kensu could not have murdered Scott Macklem”.  That letter goes on to indicate that Mr. Kensu was convicted despite compelling evidence that he was in Escanaba the day Macklem was murdered in Port Huron, that the trial was rife with prosecutorial misconduct, and that Mr. Kensu was represented by an incompetent and drug-addicted defense attorney.

Professor Ronald Bretz from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, recently stated, “In this case, I am convinced that Temujin Kensu did not commit this murder and had no role in it. He is truly innocent and I encourage the Governor to grant clemency.”

Donna McKneelen, Co-Director of the Cooley Innocence Project at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, also examined the Kensu case and is now on record calling for his release.  “It’s time for action to release this wholly innocent man so he can return to his family and friends”, McKneelen said.

Proving Innocence (PI) made the wrongful conviction of Temujin Kensu its number one priority in 2009.  Speaking about the case, David Sanders of PI said, “There was not a shred of evidence that Temujin committed this murder. The jury got it terribly wrong because it was misled by an improper prosecution that demonized the defendant, a police force that targeted him from the outset and conducted no real investigation, and a defense counsel who offered no defense”.

Ross Parker, a retired career federal prosecutor who is now Kensu’s defense counsel, spoke encouragingly about the prospects for clemency: “We have former municipal police officers and judges, a retired Supreme Court Chief Justice, a retired Michigan State Police officer, former FBI special agents, and a retired Michigan State Police polygraph expert -- among others – all concluding that Temujin Kensu is wholly innocent.  Now these prominent legal and law enforcement experts in our state have examined the evidence and are on record that this is a wrongful conviction.  There could not be a more persuasive case for the Governor to free an innocent man who has spent almost a quarter century unjustly imprisoned.”

 More details on the Temujin Kensu case, including a series of video newscasts and newspaper articles, can be found on Proving Innocence’s website at www.provinginnocence.net.

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Proving Innocence is a nonprofit organization that helps free people who are wrongfully incarcerated by providing investigators to substantiate claims of innocence; producing video documentaries of wrongful convictions to educate the public and policy makers; advocating for reforms in the criminal justice system; and helping exonerees connect with post-release services to facilitate their successful return to society.

Kensu Media Release 6 Petition

May 27, 2009

 

Contact: B. David Sanders

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(586) 365-8395

 

 

 

 

 

For Immediate Release

 

Proving Innocence Announces Petition to Free Temujin Kensu

 

Proving Innocence is asking all citizens to sign a petition for clemency to Governor Granholm that would free Temujin Kensu. This Michigan man has been imprisoned for more than 22 years for the shotgun killing of Scott Macklem in Port Huron, Michigan. The conviction was not supported by a shred of evidence.

 

Signing the petition is free and takes a couple of minutes. The petition can be found by going to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/FreeKensuNow/. (Note: F, K, and N must be capitalized.)

 

Kensu has been incarcerated continuously without bond since his arrest on November 13, 1986. He was convicted of first degree murder in St. Clair Circuit Court on May 19, 1987.

 

“Proving Innocence only takes on cases where the evidence is clear that the convicted party is actually innocent, not just innocent through some legal technicality,” said David Sanders of Proving Innocence. And there is no better example of such actual innocence than Temujin Kensu.”

 

Kensu was convicted despite the fact that he was more than 450 miles from the crime scene when the murder occurred. There was no physical or forensic evidence connecting Kensu to the crime. Both Kensu and his primary alibi witness passed polygraphs, administered by former Michigan State Police polygraphers, which show he is innocent.


Ross Parker, a former 30-year federal prosecutor now working with Kensu said, “I spent my entire career putting bad guys behind bars where they belong. But this case is a true tragedy. Our criminal justice system failed this time because of faulty police work, overly zealous prosecution, admitted perjury by a jailhouse snitch, a flawed witness identification process, and a drug-addicted and incompetent defense attorney. It was Kensu’s ‘perfect storm’.”

 

Many highly respected people who have examined the case conclude that Kensu should not have been convicted, including a retired Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, former FBI agents and prosecutors, and a retired Michigan State Police Polygrapher. Even retired detective Herbert Welser, who served for 31 years in the Port Huron Police Department that initially investigated the case says, “There is no doubt in my mind that Temujin Kensu did not commit this murder and in order to gain a conviction against him several inappropriate things occurred. Mr. Kensu’s conviction and continued incarceration is a terrible miscarriage of justice.”

 

“It only takes a few minutes to review and sign Proving Innocence’s petition and yet it can make an incredible difference,” said Sanders. “It will help bring this appalling case to the Governor’s attention and encourage her to act now to free a man who is wasting what could be a productive life, separated from his loving wife and children.”

 

More details on the Temujin Kensu case, including a series of video news casts and newspaper articles, can be found on Proving Innocence’s website at www.provinginnocence.net.

 

# # # # # # #

 

Proving Innocence is a nonprofit organization that helps free people who are wrongfully incarcerated by providing investigators to substantiate claims of innocence; producing video documentaries of wrongful convictions to educate the public and policy makers; advocating for reforms in the criminal justice system; and helping exonerees connect with post-release services to facilitate their successful return to society.

Kensu Media Release 1

Proving Innocence Makes Kensu Case Its Top Priority

Proving Innocence has announced that the Temujin Kensu Case is its top priority for 2009 and in June is appealing to the Michigan Parole and Commutation Board for his release. Temujin Kensu is serving a life sentence for a murder that he did not commit. He has already served over 22 years in prison.

The State convicted Kensu (known as Frederick Freeman prior to his conversion to Buddhism) of the shotgun killing of Scott Macklem in a college parking lot in Port Huron, Michigan on November 5, 1986. But as confirmed by numerous credible alibi witnesses, on that day Kensu was in the Upper Peninsula near Escanaba more than 450 miles from the crime scene. A receipt signed by Kensu also shows that he was in Escanaba the day of the shooting. Moreover, there is absolutely no physical or forensic evidence connecting Kensu to the murder. No gunshot residue was found on his clothing and an ammunition box found at the scene contained a fingerprint not belonging to Kensu. A several-hour warrantless and illegal search of Kensu’s house, trailer, and property found nothing incriminating. Both Kensu and his primary alibi witness have passed lie detector tests that show he had nothing to do with the murder. The tests were administered by former Michigan State Police polygraphers.

That Kensu is innocent is not just Proving Innocence’s conclusion. It’s the assessment of dozens of highly respected and qualified people who have made that judgment. For example, former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Brennan has said, “Had I been the trial judge, I would have directed a verdict for the defendant.” Hank Glaspie, a former 27-year FBI agent has said, “There wasn’t the evidence to convict him. It just wasn’t there.” And Chester Romatowski, a retired Michigan State Police polygraph expert said the polygraph he administered “Clearly shows that Mr. Freeman did not shoot Mr. Macklem. I feel very confident about that.”

So why was Kensu convicted while the real killer remains free to victimize others? Ross Parker, a former federal prosecutor with more than 30 years experience, chalks it up to an astonishing combination of unprofessional and faulty police work, admitted perjury by a jailhouse snitch, an aggressive prosecutor, erroneous identification by witnesses caused by suggestive police procedures, and a court-appointed defense attorney who was drug-addicted, constitutionally ineffective, and had an undisclosed conflict of interest with the lead detective in the case.

Parker says, “Mr. Kensu did not receive a fair trial. The cards were stacked against him. Within a couple of hours of the homicide, the police had targeted their man and failed to investigate any other leads that would have revealed the real killer. And the prosecution focused the case on demonizing the defendant in the absence of persuasive evidence that he committed the offense.”

As its top priority, Proving Innocence, along with Kensu’s other supporters, is aggressively pursuing four courses of action in a concerted effort to free Kensu: One, a petition is being prepared for submission in June, 2009 to the state Clemency Board as part of an effort to convince Governor Granholm to commute Kensu’s sentence. Two, a Petition for Habeas Corpus has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Three, further investigations are being conducted to identify the real killer. And, four, Proving Innocence will continue building widespread public support for redressing this wrongful conviction.

“This case demonstrates that juries can make mistakes when misled by an overly zealous prosecution and incompetent police investigations”, said David Sanders, a member of Proving Innocence. “Here is a man that has been incarcerated for more than two decades for a crime his did not commit. It’s well past time for the Governor and our criminal justice system to recognize the magnitude of this incredible wrong, act now to free Temujin Kensu, and prevent an innocent man from wasting the rest of his life behind bars.”

Proving Innocence is a nonprofit organization that helps free people who are wrongfully incarcerated by providing investigators to substantiate claims of innocence; producing video documentaries of wrongful convictions to educate the public and policy makers; advocating for reforms in the criminal justice system; and helping exonerees connect with post-release services to facilitate their successful return to society (see www.provinginnocence.net).

Kensu Media Release 2 Why He is Actually Innocent

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Temujin Kensu: Why He is Actually Innocent

Many highly respected people, after closely examining the Temujin Kensu (Frederick Freeman) case, conclude that he is actually innocent. This includes: a former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, a retired career federal prosecutor, a veteran TV investigative journalist, two former FBI agents, a former Michigan State Police polygraph expert, and a private investigator who served as a lieutenant detective in the police department in Port Huron where Mr. Kensu was arrested. Moreover, the Michigan Innocence Clinic of the University of Michigan Law School and the Co-Director of the Innocence Project of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School have joined Proving Innocence in concluding that Temujin Kensu is wholly innocent.

 Why do these people and dozens of others believe that Temujin Kensu is innocent?
 
  • At the time of the murder Mr. Kensu was actually in the Upper Peninsula in Rock, Michigan, 20 miles north of Escanaba and about 450 miles from the crime scene in Port Huron, Michigan. This is confirmed by at least ten credible alibi witnesses that place him in Escanaba around the time of the killing. In addition, Mr. Kensu had a signed receipt showing that he was in Escanaba on the day of the murder.
  • Temujin Kensu was administered a polygraph examination by a well respected former Michigan State Police polygraph expert that clearly demonstrated his innocence. Likewise, Michelle Woodworth, his former girlfriend, has passed a polygraph exam and sworn under oath that Mr. Kensu was with her in the Upper Peninsula at the time of the shooting. Ms. Woodworth also said police investigators threatened her that if she testified on Mr. Kensu’s behalf, they would have social services take away her soon-to-be-born child, so she hid during the trial rather than testify.
  • There was absolutely no evidence at the crime scene – documentary, forensic, or physical – that connected Mr. Kensu to the crime. No murder weapon was produced. No gunshot residue was found on his clothing. An ammunition box found at the scene contained a fingerprint not belonging to Mr. Kensu. Additionally, police conducted a several-hour, warrantless and illegal search of Mr. Kensu’s house, trailer, and property and found nothing incriminating.
  • To counter the many alibi witnesses testifying that Mr. Kensu was in Escanaba at the time of the murder, the prosecutor was inexplicably allowed to present to the jury a wild theory speculating that Mr. Kensu chartered a plane from Escanaba to Port Huron, committed the crime, and flew back. This totally unsubstantiated assertion was made despite the fact there was not a trace of evidence that such a flight took place. No pilot, plane, flight plan, flight payment receipt, or landing location was ever identified. No automobile or means of travel to the crime scene and back was produced. (The vehicle seen driving from the crime scene was never linked to Mr. Kensu). Moreover, Mr. Kensu was indigent and so poor he could not pay his rent, let alone charter a private aircraft.
  • None of the students in the immediate area of the shooting identified Mr. Kensu as having been there. One student, Rene Gobeyn, said that, as he was walking from his car with a friend, he heard the shot and, a short time later, saw a twentyish white male driving a gold-colored car away from the area of the shooting as it passed them and exited the lot. He estimated that he saw the face of the driver, wearing a cap and coat, for about 5 seconds. Sometime later that morning he wrote down the license plate number of the vehicle and pointed out to police another person and vehicle as a possible suspect. Later that day, Gobeyn was hypnotized by a college professor who was a friend of one of the investigating officers. A few days later, police presented to Gobeyn a photo-lineup which – contrary to professional and scientific procedure – suggestively highlighted Mr. Kensu among several other photos. Only at this point did Gobeyn pick out Mr. Kensu as the driver.
  • Without any evidence linking Mr. Kensu to the crime, police and prosecutors focused exclusively on Mr. Kensu as their only suspect within hours of the murder. This rush to judgment occurred despite the fact that Scott Macklem, the murder victim, had been followed and threatened by two men who were visibly upset with him. Common sense suggests that it’s much more likely that these two men had something to do with the crime than a man more than 450 miles away living his own life. But no one cared to do a real investigation. They had their man – and the real killer remains free.
  • The lead detective for this crime, John Bowns, was a disgraced officer who had never conducted a murder investigation. Prior to the Kensu case, Bowns was charged by the Michigan State Police and Michigan Attorney General’s Office with illegal gambling and numbers running. In 1982 Bowns was terminated by the Port Huron Police Department for conduct unbecoming a police officer and neglect of duty. He was rehired by the department about a year before the Kensu case.
  • A key prosecution witness, Philip Joplin, was a jail house snitch and career criminal.   He testified that Mr. Kensu spontaneously confessed to him, a complete stranger, in a holding cell before trial. Joplin, a six-time convicted felon in Jackson Prison, denied in front of the jury that he had received any promise of a benefit as a result of his testimony. He later admitted in a videotaped interview and to others that he had fabricated this story. For his testimony he was promised he would not be returned to prison but, despite his record and escape conviction, would be placed in a community program (he was also given money, a VCR, clothes, and cigarettes). Corrections documents confirm that the prosecution and the trial judge did in fact intervene to provide Joplin this placement.
  • A third person in the cell with Mr. Kensu and Joplin, Booker Brown, said that no confession to the murder occurred. Brown further stated that he was approached by prosecutors to be a “snitch” in exchange for favors, which he refused. Brown wrote prosecutors a letter stating that they had the wrong person and that he had actually heard another inmate confess that he had committed the murder and not Mr. Kensu. 
  • Mr. Kensu was represented by an incompetent, court appointed lawyer named David Dean, who was an active drug addict during the trial. Dean bungled the entire trial and prevented Mr. Kensu from testifying on his own behalf. Dean was a former county prosecutor with both an alcohol and cocaine habit who had been just released from probation by the State of Ohio for using cocaine in 1985. Dean was later disgraced and disbarred from the practice of law in Michigan, in part for his substance abuse. Dean also failed to inform Mr. Kensu that he had earlier represented lead detective Bowns in a legal battle following his firing by the Port Huron Police Department.
  • During the trial the jury was intentionally misled and misinformed by the prosecution:
  1. The jury was shown a “doctored” photo line-up, not the actual one that singled out Mr. Kensu. The photo line-up pictures were altered to crop out the mug shot tags and show them as the same size and coloring, and then proclaimed to the jury that they were the ones used in the photo line-up when they were not (the actual photo line-up was hidden from the defense for two decades)
  2. The prosecution elicited false testimony from a jailhouse snitch by providing favors and promising to move him from prison to a community program (which did occur) – revealing none of this deal to the jury.
  3. The prosecutor presented to the jury wild speculation on an Escanaba to Port Huron flight with absolutely no evidence that it occurred. This included not revealing to the jury that the pilot who testified about this phantom flight was, in fact, the prosecutor’s personal pilot. 
  4. The jury was not told that the prosecution’s star witness had been hypnotized and had ties to the victim and the police. (This witness was a criminal justice student who knew several Port Huron police officers. He also had a father who worked with the victim and a mother who worked in the same building as the police department.)
  • The St. Clair County Prosecutor’s office had questionable ties to, if not a conflict of interest with, the trial judge. To wit, the trial judge (a former county prosecutor) was arrested for drunk driving by the Michigan State Police. The State Police were instructed by the prosecutor’s office to release the judge to a fellow judge and that no charges were to be filed. 
Updated April 23, 2010

 

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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.

Click Angelo Henderson Radio Program  to download any of the recorded programs.

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The Research Corner

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.

 

 

 

For Those Desiring PI to look at Your Case

 

At this point in our development, PI is only taking on cases in cooperation with other innocence projects. If you have been wrongfully convicted and your case involves DNA evidence, we recommend you contact the Cooley Innocence Project at Western Michigan Cooley Law School. If your case does not involve DNA, please contact the Michigan Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. A third member of the Innocence Network is SADO, the State Appelate Defense Organization. For cases outside of Michigan, here is a list of innocence projects by state.