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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    4,191

    Smile Man wrongfully convicted of quadruple homicide at 14 mentors youth

    Sanford spent more than nine years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of a 2007 quadruple homicide. He was 14 when charged with the murders, and a year later began his prison sentence, which he called “hell.”
    [...]
    Sanford, 24, recently launched Innocent Dreams, a nonprofit organization that aims to provide GED and job skills training, and teach young people life skills like conflict resolution and how to navigate the criminal justice system if charged with a crime.
    [...]
    Since he was released in June, Sanford has spoken regularly at churches, schools and events. He hopes his new organization will allow him to offer programs to help inner-city kids cope with life’s hardships.
    <snipped> http://www.detroitnews.com/story/new...rime/97325084/
    "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
    - Henry David Thoreau

  2. #2
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    Sep 2009
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    Southern Ontario
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    3,871
    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Anna View Post
    While reading this article, noticed there are a few linked to it that explain why wrongful convictions happen in the first place.

    It seems appropriate to highlight them as well imo, even though the reasons lack the feel-good story of someone learning to cope after doing 9 years in prison for a crime they didn't commit.

    Sanford was 14 in September 2007 when four people were killed on Detroit’s east side. He says he was tricked into confessing, and was coerced by an unscrupulous lawyer into pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

    Two weeks after he went to prison, hit man Vincent Smothers confessed to 12 murders, including the four for which Sanford was convicted.


    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/new...-man/94049104/

    DS still served 9 years even though 2 weeks after his incarceration another person confessed to the crimes. A crime in and of itself imo.

    The Michigan House on Wednesday approved a plan to compensate wrongfully convicted individuals by paying them $50,000 for each year they spent in prison, ...

    The plan is more than 12 years in the making ...


    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/new...tion/95108412/

    Wrongful convictions have been elevated from an anomaly to 'a thing'. I hope DS gets the $450K or so that this program seeks to give.

    And this one explains how this happens and who can make it happen.

    Yet another case is in the news of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office clawing to suppress evidence that might exonerate a man convicted of murder and locked up since 1992.

    “In many prosecutor’s offices, there’s a denialism that a mistake was made,” Moran says. “They are more worried about how the office might look than they are about justice.”


    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opi...rthy/99366062/

    Imo, mistakes are not usually what occurs - it's intentional to tamper with evidence and withhold exculpatory evidence. Crimes that are rarely if ever prosecuted. The lack of prosecution leaves the door open for someone else to commit the same crime aka mistake.

    Jmo.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodland View Post
    While reading this article, noticed there are a few linked to it that explain why wrongful convictions happen in the first place.

    It seems appropriate to highlight them as well imo, even though the reasons lack the feel-good story of someone learning to cope after doing 9 years in prison for a crime they didn't commit.

    Sanford was 14 in September 2007 when four people were killed on Detroit’s east side. He says he was tricked into confessing, and was coerced by an unscrupulous lawyer into pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

    Two weeks after he went to prison, hit man Vincent Smothers confessed to 12 murders, including the four for which Sanford was convicted.


    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/new...-man/94049104/

    DS still served 9 years even though 2 weeks after his incarceration another person confessed to the crimes. A crime in and of itself imo.

    The Michigan House on Wednesday approved a plan to compensate wrongfully convicted individuals by paying them $50,000 for each year they spent in prison, ...

    The plan is more than 12 years in the making ...


    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/new...tion/95108412/

    Wrongful convictions have been elevated from an anomaly to 'a thing'. I hope DS gets the $450K or so that this program seeks to give.

    And this one explains how this happens and who can make it happen.

    Yet another case is in the news of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office clawing to suppress evidence that might exonerate a man convicted of murder and locked up since 1992.

    “In many prosecutor’s offices, there’s a denialism that a mistake was made,” Moran says. “They are more worried about how the office might look than they are about justice.”


    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opi...rthy/99366062/

    Imo, mistakes are not usually what occurs - it's intentional to tamper with evidence and withhold exculpatory evidence. Crimes that are rarely if ever prosecuted. The lack of prosecution leaves the door open for someone else to commit the same crime aka mistake.

    Jmo.
    Stories like this are always bittersweet for me, Woodland, as I know they are for the men who are wrongfully convicted because, despite the happiness in their finally gaining freedom, there's the awful knowledge of the fact that these innocents have spent years or even decades behind bars, and experienced deplorable treatment. I did see some articles addressing how Mr Sanford came to be wrongfully convicted and his experiences in prison, and debated whether to include that here. But, I decided to only focus on the positive aspect of how Mr Sanford is using his freedom, because that's the focus he's given to his life. He does address with the youth he mentors, though, how to navigate the criminal justice system. But, he also teaches youth in his community how to make better decisions in life and it sounds like he does a tremendous job of relating to young people.

    As Mr Sanford's programs expand, I hope that there will also be programs that teach defense lawyers skills to open up communication channels with vulnerable youth and to advocate aggressively on their behalf. And, one thing I love about seeing these stories, is that they are in the forefront of the public eye and help put a face on the persons who have been directly affected by wrongful convictions and their loved ones. It's just so unfair that some justice system employees do not take justice seriously, and there need to be serious repercussions. I think advances in DNA technology will also play a role in avoiding false incarceration in the future. I'm also very thankful for Project Innocence and the many programs across the nation it has generated.

    MOO
    "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
    - Henry David Thoreau



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