It seems we read stories on a monthly basis of convictions being overturned after the fact. Whether due to prosecutorial misconduct or mistaken identity, the growing trend seems to suggest there are more innocent people behind bars than previously suspected. If a Wayne County Prosecutor has her way, however, some of those innocent people could be required to fulfill their sentence regardless.
According to this editorial from The Detroit Free Press, Prosecutor Kym Worthy is suggesting that prisoners convicted of an offense should not be allowed to present new evidence that could potentially prove their evidence after one year following their conviction. Her proposed rule flies in the face of what’s right and truly just.
Michigan is already nationally recognized as having one of the most disjointed public defense systems, this would certainly not make our state’s system look anymore ethical.
One man, as profiled in the Free Press article, spent years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit. The evidence that eventually set him free didn’t emerge until 8 years after his conviction. Had this new rule been in place, he would’ve been doomed to live out his sentence as an innocent man in prison.
It seems to me that the right thing to do is exhaust any reliable evidence that’s contrary to guilt. This isn’t just true post-conviction but before as well. When you are facing criminal charges, you need an advocate willing to fight for your freedom at all stages of the process.
The Prosecutor in this case is concerned post conviction motions could divert funds away from new cases. And while she may be right—that’s hardly reason enough to ignore the potentially innocent people behind bars.
Whether you are completely innocent of the charges against you or you believe you are being unfairly portrayed by the police and prosecutor, a committed defense lawyer can help.
As your defense lawyer, it would be my job to ensure that no stone is left unturned in your case. Prosecutors aren’t always right and criminal charges can be filed against the innocent. Despite how it may feel, you truly are innocent until proven guilty.