On the list of U.S. states with the highest exoneration rate after wrongful conviction, Michigan comes in at number five. Which is appalling, if you live in the Great Lakes state and believe in ‘justice for all’. Because it means we’ve got it wrong so many times in the past, and that so many innocent lives have been ruined in the name of closing cases and keeping the criminal conviction rate high.
Michigan has a VERY high wrongful incarceration rate!
More than half of the overturned convictions nationwide, since 1989, have been in the past 10 years. And right now, Michigan has the fifth highest number of wrongly convicted prisoners being released in the U.S.. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, the only states with more overturned wrongful convictions than us, are Texas, New York, Illinois and California. Which is staggering, when you stop to think how often our justice system has put innocent people behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit.
The blame, it’s said, lies in the lap of the Detroit Police Department.
It might not be the case now, but in the not too distant past, there was a huge amount of mismanagement and corruption in the Detroit Police Department. And the DPD crime lab was even worse! In 2003, the Detroit police lab was subject to a federal consent decree, which they only accepted to avoid a lawsuit. Later, in 2008, the lab was shut down completely in the wake of a furious review conducted by the Michigan State Police crime lab.
According to Michigan State Police, Detroit’s crime lab was badly mismanaged!
The state police here in Michigan conducted an audit of the Detroit Police Department’s crime lab, and found it to have a 10% error rate! That’s astounding! 10 out of every 100 cases that the lab investigated ended with incorrect results. When you extrapolate that out to include all the thousands of cases processed through that lab over the years, that makes for a staggering number of cases that were badly mismanaged! Think about it – incorrect DNA identifications in sex crime investigations, false readings in drug cases, and mismatched bullet striations in murder cases. And those botched results don’t even include test results that they arrived at using junk science like bite mark evidence or outdated arson investigation techniques.
Michigan is working hard to overcome it’s controversial crime lab past.
Since the discovery of potentially thousands of cases that may need to be reviewed for accuracy, police departments in the Detroit area are working hard to better themselves. The Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit, under the leadership of Prosecutor Kym Worthy, has reopened investigations into numerous cases in recent years. The results? Several people have been granted new trials, and some have even been exonerated.
Being wrongly convicted of a crime is life-changing!
Here’s the truth. It’s heartening to know that a few Michigan prosecutors are recognizing how many innocent people are behind bars. It’s encouraging to see how many cases are being reassessed, and to know that innocent people are being freed and given their lives back. But let’s be honest, it’s not enough. Being freed from prison after spending decades behind bars for a crime you didn’t commit might be a cause for celebration for the person being released. But they should never have been there to begin with!
Don’t waste a second behind bars for a crime you didn’t commit!
As we’ve said before, no one should ever have to go to prison if they didn’t break the law. And one of the best ways to make sure that doesn’t happen to you, is to hire one of the best criminal defense attorneys available in Michigan today. If you are facing false allegations, call The Kronzek Firm PLC at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail) and make sure your case is handled by someone who won’t stop until the truth is revealed. The right attorney is critical to your future.