Prosecutor Worthy teams up with local Innocence Project with new DOJ funding
click to enlarge Photo via Wayne CountyWayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. “This grant supports very important work that potentially will have a significant impact on wrongful conviction cases.”Since the prosecutor’s Conviction Integrity Unit was launched in January 2018, it has received more than 1,500 requests for post-conviction investigations. “There will be no need to involve the courts with respect to the testing of evidence, since the parties will jointly decide whether testing may bear upon the reliability of the verdict.”WMU-Cooley Innocence Project Director Marla Mitchell-Cichon said she’s grateful for the grant. "The Department of Justice funds will allow our office to continue to provide high-quality legal services to prisoners whose innocence may be proven through DNA testing,” Mitchell-Cichon said. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with a prosecutor’s office that is committed to rectifying wrongful convictions and improving the criminal justice system.”metrotimes.com
Buried DNA evidence clears man who spent 24 years in prison for 1994 Detroit murder
DETROIT – A man who served 24 years in prison for murder was exonerated Wednesday after DNA evidence was finally tested. Authorities agreed that the conviction of Lacino Hamilton for second-degree murder was spoiled by DNA test results and “woefully improper use of informants,” The Associated Press reports. “I am extremely grateful and look forward to being a productive citizen in our community.”Hamilton, now 45 years old, has been in prison since 1996 for the 1994 death of a Detroit woman. DNA found under the victim’s fingernails, which was not disclosed or tested before the 1995 trial, excluded Hamilton as the attacker. “In addition to that, and perhaps even more alarming, is the woefully improper use of informants in this case by the Detroit Police Department,” Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said.mlive.com
Man freed after 26 years of wrongful imprisonment for Detroit murder
DETROIT – An innocent man who wrongfully served 26 years in prison for a Detroit murder has been released on Wednesday. “We made the decision long ago to never give up fighting for Mr. Hamilton’s release. And, even sadder, is that Mr. Hamilton’s case is not unique," said Mary Chartier, one of Mr. Hamilton’s lead attorneys. In Mr. Hamilton’s case, the ‘snitch’ claimed in numerous cases that men — men who were strangers — had spontaneously confessed murder to him. This is just one of the travesties that occurred in Mr. Hamilton’s case.