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Post-conviction matters: Man exonerated after 30 years in prison

In Nov. 1987, a woman reported being attacked by a man who got into her car in Michigan. She said that she was waiting in her car while her son went into a store. This is one of many cases in which an experienced attorney's focus on post-conviction matters led to the exoneration of a wrongly-convicted individual. In this case, misidentification by the victim led to a prison sentence of an innocent man who was recently exonerated after about 30 years of incarceration.

The woman claimed a knife-wielding, medium-built black man with a height of about 5 feet 9 inches attacked her. She said he forced her to drive, and when they ultimately stopped, he forced her to perform a sexual act. When she resisted, he allegedly stabbed her with the knife. She managed to escape from the car and claims that the man took her wallet and jewelry before he raced away in her car.

About one month later, the woman's car was spotted with a teenage driver and a 20-year-old passenger. This man was put in a lineup along with others, but the woman failed to identify him. About two years later, she took police to a fast food outlet and pointed out a man, claiming that he was the one who attacked her. She then picked him out of a lineup, although he was 7 inches taller, had lighter complexion and a different build than the man she initially described.

He was arrested and charged with several crimes, including assault with intent to commit murder. He found guilty when the case went to trial in 1991. The man reached out to the Innocence Project, which led to the case being reviewed, resulting in his exoneration earlier this year. Anyone in Michigan facing similar circumstances can seek the services of a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience in dealing with post-conviction matters to help right any wrongs that have occurred.

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