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It is finally over for Mark Craighead

Years ago, when Proving Innocence was first started, I met with Mark at a downtown Detroit restaurant and heard him go over the details of his case. Later, I approached a couple of businesses about hiring him. While they had the positive reputation for hiring convicted felons, giving them a chance to reinvent their lives, when they heard that Mark was convicted of murder, that was a show-stopper. We could not prove to them that Mark was innocent. All we could do was to write a letter indicating that we and the Michigan Innocence Clinic believed in his innocence and were working to exonerate him. We were unsuccessful. Sometime after that board member, Dave Sanders, who now works on Temujin Kensu's case, extensively looked at the case in conjunction with MIC, but, as with so many other efforts, was unable to make any headway.

The only evidence against Mark was a signed confession, written by the detective. Mark says he was lied to by the police about the consequences of doing so, "No, Mark, you cannot go home tonight as we promised! You're never going home." Despite finding phone records supporting Mark's contention that he was at work at the time of the murder, (the company's records had been damaged and could not be retrieved) and the fact that Detroit homicide detective, Barbara Simon, has been found to have coerced false confessions from at least four other Michigan exonerees, Wayne County does not accept that Mark is innocent. They simply say that with the passage of time, they would not be successful at prosecuting him a second time. Oh, well.

Photo by Clarence Tabb, Jr. - The Detroit News

Life has not been very kind to Mark but he is one of those people who has continued to move forward. With us, he has always come across as being upbeat, kind, and possessing a professional air when presenting himself. A good article can be found in the Detroit News about Mark and his future plans. We wish him the best!

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