Anyone involved in innocence work knows that victories are not easily won and those that are can take years. In two different cases the Michigan Innocence Clinic (MIC) has won new trials.
In the case of Mubarez Ahmed, MIC had worked on the case for 8 years before filing it's first post-conviction motion in October 2017 and then things moved rapidly. In January 2018, the newly created Conviction Integrity Unit agreed to support MIC's motion for a new trial. On August 15th Wayne Country Circuit Court granted Ahmed a new trial. A hearing is set for September 26th, however MIC expects the changes will soon be dismissed. Read here for further details.
The other case involves two defendants, Justly Johnson and Kendrick Scott. After years of denials, the Michigan Supreme Court finally granted relief in an opinion on July 23 after hearing oral arguments in April. The opinion was not unanimous, but the majority represents a shift in the court's understanding that recantations can be considered when viewed in the context of other evidence. Read here for further details.
In both cases, investigator Scott Lewis was given credit for significant help.