Being placed in jail is a difficult situation for anyone, even people who know that they have done what they are accused of doing. For men and women in the Detroit and Wayne County jail systems, as well as those convicted in Wayne County and set to prison, languishing in jail for untold lengths of time is possible. Some inmates claim this is a violation of their right to a speedy trial. Others have been convicted of crimes that they didn’t commit.
The Detroit police chief has taken notice of the issues that are present in the criminal justice system here, particularly those who are innocent and wrongfully convicted. He is taking steps to help inmates get the information they need to move their cases along. He also pledged that detectives will work to determine if necessary evidence still exists.
Chief James Craig is working with the Innocence Clinic that is part of the University of Michigan. He has pledged that his department will work with the clinic to expedite requests for evidence and other proofs that can help to prove the claims of innocence. This is likely going to cut down on the number of Freedom of Information Act requests the clinic has to file and that the police department has to answer.
The Innocence Clinic has helped to free half a dozen people who were wrongfully convicted in Wayne County. Previously, this clinic has had to turn down a lot of requests because of lack of proof of the claim of innocence. With the help that is now coming from officials, the clinic might be able to help more inmates who are wrongfully sitting behind bars. From there, wrongfully convicted inmates can learn about their options for handling their situation.
Source: The Detroit News, “Finley: Detroit chief to help free wrongfully convicted,” Nolan Finley, March 30, 2017