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Post-conviction matters: Whose DNA will be on the red bandana?

Anyone in Michigan or elsewhere who believes he or she was wrongly convicted can file an appeal. However, if the conviction is affirmed on appeal, what other options remain? Post-conviction matters are complicated to navigate without the support and guidance of experienced legal counsel. A man on death row in another state is currently trying different avenues to prove his innocence.

The man was sentenced to death in 2004 for the killing of a 45-year-old insurance executive in 1999 when he was only 19 years old. A federal public defender now says this man was wrongfully convicted and that sufficient facts exist to constitute reasonable doubt. Another man who testified against the condemned man was sentenced to 30 years, but he was released after only 15 years. Reportedly, this man admitted to two other death-row inmates that he had set his friend up for the murder.

Conflicting evidence includes an eyewitness describing the hair similar to that of the second man, and a red bandana worn by the shooter. The fact that the police had a photo that showed the convicted man with hair much shorter was never entered into evidence. The bandana was found at the house of the man who was convicted, and although the other man spent the night at his home, it was never tested for DNA. The man on death row believes a DNA test would prove that the other man wore the bandana. It has since been sent for DNA testing, and the results are pending.

Furthermore, the parents and siblings of the convicted man were ready to testify that he was home when the shooting took place, but they were never given the opportunity. No one should be left in solitary confinement and on death row for a crime he or she did not commit. The services of a criminal defense attorney who is skilled in dealing with post-conviction matters can help a convicted person in Michigan continue the fight to right any wrongs that have been committed within the criminal justice system.

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