An Interview with Freeman's Alibi - Michelle Woodworth

This interview of Michelle Woodworth was filmed about a month ago. It is an engaging description of Michelle being with Fred 450 miles away when the murder took place and the subsequent treatment of her by law enforcement. We at Proving Innocence continue to be outraged at this sham of a murder conviction, a conviction which has now robbed Fred of 31 years of his life! How do you respond to this 8 1/2 minute interview? Click on Comments and let your voice be heard!

Fred Freeman Gets Another Chance!

FreemanGreat news on Wrongful Conviction Day! The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted a successive petition for Fred Freeman’s habeas appeal. That means that Federal District Court, Eastern District, that granted Freeman’s original habeas – which was then overturned by the Sixth Circuit – is now authorized to consider: 1) Freeman’s Brady* claims regarding the prosecution’s failure to produce for the defense tampered line-up photos; and 2) the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim concerning Freeman’s cocaine-addicted defense lawyer.

As Imran Syed of the Michigan Innocence Clinic put it, “This is a careful and measured opinion. I am pleased that the Court agreed that the evidence we have presented here is significant and worthy of full consideration. We look forward to presenting these claims to the district court, where we hope Mr. Freeman will finally obtain the relief he deserves. Basically this sends the case back to Judge Denise Page Hood for another habeas petition. She granted it before, and the words of the 6th Circuit here are great. I am hopeful she will grant it again . . .”

Justice in Freeman’s case is yet to be obtained and the judicial process drags on far too slowly for someone who has been behind bars for 31 years. But there is optimism that Chief Judge Hood will “do the right thing”!

You may read the decision in its entirety by clicking on the Attachments.

*Brady - When the prosecution discovers evidence pointing to the defendent's innocence and does not disclose it to the defense.

$5000 to $25,000 $50,000 Reward for Information Regarding Kensu's Case

Wednesday, June 28th, the series Reasonable Doubt on the Investigation Discovery Channel devoted the episode to Temujin Kensu. Temujin is offering a reward. The funds come out of Temujin's own money he collected from his lawsuite against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). The wording Temujin sent us is as follows:

“A reward of up to $5000 is being offered for any credible information regarding the November 5th, 1986, St. Clair County Community College parking lot shooting death of Scott Arnold Macklem.

A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for any information that either exonerates Mr. Kensu, who was wrongfully convicted for this crime, and/or leads to an arrest or conviction of the responsible party.

Moreover, Mr. Kensu’s attorneys at 1-800-Law-Firm will match any reward that leads to the exoneration of him, bringing the potential reward to $50,000. Call 1 (800) 595-0830 if you have information to report.”

You may watch Episode 10 of Reasonable Doubt, Long Distance Murder by clicking on the link, but you must have a cable subscription that gives you access to the Investigation Discovery Channel.

Wrongful Imprisonment Comp Act

Attachments:
Download this file (2015-HIB-4536.pdf)House Bill 4536

After over eight years of being stalled in committee, the Michigan House Bill - 4536, commonly known as the "wrongful imprisonment compensation act", passed 8 to 0. Thirty other states have enacted such a bill in the recognition that the state must be responsible when it deprives individuals of years of their lives when they are indeed innocent.

Not only has it passed committee, but a reading of the bill shows that it has jetisoned much of the weaknesses of earlier versions. Those versions had layer after layer to restrictions about the particular causes of the alledged crime and that it only applied to convictions overturned by strong scientific evidence, such as DNA. Such restrictions were a result of political concessions that made no sense and catered to lawmakers full of myths about wrongful convictions and thier causes. In fact, while many urged acceptance of such a bill because "politics is compromise" and "get what you can now", others invested in the passage of such a bill, such as Ken Wyniemko, himself an exoneree and activist in this cause, could not put their support behind it. It was, indeed, disappointing and infuriating to read. It inexplicably said that being exonerated by the same courts that convicted the person wasn't enough.

The current bill as it was introduced into committee is a breath of fresh air. It is more rational, acknolweging that when the courts acknowledged the error, the state needs to act out of a responsibility which it has to make things right, to the degree that such a thing is even possible. Below this article you will find the link to download the bill. Next step, call your representative and express your support.

Lorinda Denied her Retrial

Wrongful conviction work is often heartbreaking. Not only for the wrongly convicted person and their family, but heartbreaking to know that our criminal justice system can get it so wrong, only to see how entrenched it is in justifying its mistakes.

Lorinda SwainFor background on Lorinda Swain’s case, go to Lorinda Swain. After the original trial judge granted her a new trial based on testimony of a key witness who was not asked to testify originally, the Calhoun County’s Prosecutor’s office appealed the decision. Since her accuser had recanted, it would be extremely difficult to find her guilty. Rather than deciding not to prosecute, they appealed the original trial judge’s decision. The Court of Appeals (COA) reversed the decision for a new trial. The State considers her guilty and the prosecutor is asking that her bond be revoked. After serving 8 years in prison and being out on bond for the last 5, Lorinda is facing the probability that she will be sent back to prison to server out her 25 to 50 year sentence. The Court of Appeal’s (COA) opinion is available for download at the end of this article by clicking More about Lorinda. Here is a summary:

More about Lorinda . . .Lorinda Denied her Retrial