Ailing 1986 Port Huron murder convict fights for pardon with help from outside

Frederick Freeman spent 3 decades behind bars

PORT HURON, Mich. – Frederick Freeman spent three decades behind bars after being convicted in a 1986 Port Huron murder, and now he’s asking Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to grant him a pardon.

Freeman was found guilty of murdering Scott Macklem.

“It’s certainly one of the most egregious cases which you can find anywhere in the nation, but certainly the worst in the state of Michigan,” said David Sanders, of Proving Innocence.

Sanders said his harsh words tell the truth.

“Juries sometimes get it wrong,” he said. “There’s absolutely no evidence, whatsoever, that connects him with a crime in any way."

Macklem was killed in a parking lot in Port Huron, and Sanders said there was overwhelming evidence that showed Freeman was nowhere near the crime scene. Sanders said Freeman was more than 400 miles away that night.

“How could he be up in Escanaba and down in Port Huron committing a murder?” Sanders asked.

That’s why now, more than three decades later, the Proving Innocence Organization and Freeman’s lawyers are asking Snyder to grant him a pardon.

“His actual innocence, combined with his serious health issues, we think, really justifies the governor to take a close look at this and pardon the man that has spent 32 years in prison," Sanders said. "Ultimately, the governor can right wrongs that the judicial system has not been able to address."

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