Time in Prison
Freeman is planning to be among the first to make an application to the Michigan Attorney General’s new Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU), which will be reviewing and acting upon wrongful convictions in Michigan. There is optimism this process will finally free him since he is the “Poster Boy” for wrongful convictions -- about every factor and abuse causing a wrongful conviction happened to Freeman. A case like his is exactly why the CIU was created. It is the worst injustice of its kind and the best example of why Michigan needed such a body.
In her ruling on his 2010 habeas (Fredrick Thomas Freeman v. Jan Trombley), Chief Judge Denise Page Hood stated that Freeman made a credible claim of actual innocence and he should be freed or given a new trial. In that decision, Hood concluded that Freeman was denied his constitutional right to testify, his defense counsel provided ineffective counsel and failed to call his primary alibi witness, and that Prosecutor Robert Cleland was guilty of misconduct in using the perjured testimony of a jailhouse snitch that he had to know was false and that testimony was crucial to obtaining the wrongful conviction. Unfortunately, the Sixth Circuit overruled Hood on purely procedural grounds (tardy filing) having nothing to do with his actual innocence. Further appeals to this date have not been successful.