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Teen from Detroit, wrongly jailed for 8 years, gets $408,000

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2018 | Firm News, Wrongful Conviction

It was a nightmare for one Michigan teen when he was accused of murder. He now claims he wasn’t responsible, but he spent eight years behind bars for the crime.

The charges against him are now being dropped, and the state of Michigan is going to pay the Detroit native $408,000 for the mistake.

The young man was just 14 years old when the accusations came down back in 2007. Four people had been killed. The teen did confess, but he then said that the authorities tricked him and got him to confess to something he never did.

It is worth noting that the Wayne County prosecutor never said the man was not guilty. She just decided to drop the charges.

For all intents and purposes, though, it amounts to the same thing: a wrongful conviction. And, under a Michigan law that went on the books in 2016, those who are wrongfully convicted can receive $50,000 per year spent behind bars.

There is one way he’d have to return the money to Michigan. He is starting a federal case, and his legal team believes he could get around $1 million per year. If he does, paying back that $408,000 will not be hard, as he’d bring in more than $8 million total. They feel he has a good chance because of his age, saying the timing of his wrongful imprisonment meant he didn’t get to grow up and mature like his peers.

Cases like this show just why people who believe they have been wrongfully convicted still need to know their legal rights, even when it takes years.

Source: The Detroit News, “Mich. to pay $408,000 to wrongly convicted Detroit teen,” George Hunter, Jan. 05, 2018