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    Wayne County prosecutor, Kym Worthy, is trying to change Michigan's court rules to keep prisoners from presenting new evidence after one year of their initial conviction. She believes new post-conviction motions could divert "scarce resources from cases involving defendants newly convicted."
    . On the contrary, it has been argued that the state of Michigan has one of the nation's worst defense systems, and lawyers frequently fail to discover evidence that would aid in keeping innocent clients out of prison. Statistics show that more than 1,000 of Michigan's 45,000 prisoners are innocent. Not only does this astonishing figure suggest that the guilty still walk among us, but innocent people are locked in jail and it is costing taxpayers $35,000 a year.
    Dwayne Provience, a citizen of Detroit, Michigan, was accused of murdering Rene Hunter, and therefore locked up in Mound Correctional Facility, facing a lifetime behind bars. There were seven witnesses, one an off-duty cop, that could've cleared his name, but Provience's lawyer never even tried to contact them. The prosecutor's only witness, Larry Wiley, admitted under oath that he didn't see the shooting because the police offered him a deal if he lied. The trial lawyer defending Provience was never even given a key piece of evidence, a police memo that suggested that drug gang members were the likely killers, to aid in clearing his name. This evidence was discovered by the Innocence Clinic eight years after his initial conviction. With this new ruling, innocent people like Dwayne would not have a chance at the freedom that rightfully belongs to them.

    The Michigan Innocence Clinic is a project run at the University of Michigan Law School by 20 law students, under the direction of 2 professors. It is the only innocence project that is devoted to fighting wrongful convictions without any DNA or biological evidence. They focus on cases investigating new evidence, preparing state post-conviction motions, conducting hearings and arguing motions in conjunction with these motions, and filing appeals to the state and federal courts. Prisoners wishing to prove their innocence must submit an application if they so desire to participate in this project.

    Sources:

    http://www.law.umich.edu/centersandprograms/clinical/Pages/InnocenceClinic.aspx
    http://www.freep.com/article/20100923/OPINION01/9230415/Time-limit-on-evidence-would-deny-justice-for-innocents#ixzz12juAS9Dh

     

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    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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