Michigan Attorney General launches Conviction Integrity Unit to rectify wrongful convictions

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Posted at 8:43 AM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 08:43:30-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has launched a new Conviction Integrity Unit.

The unit will investigate credible claims of innocence to ensure no one is convicted of a crime they didn't actually commit.

It will investigate and determine whether there is substantial evidence that reveals the convicted person was wrongfully accused and convicted. It will also develop strategies to rectify wrongful convictions.

“We have a duty to ensure those convicted of state crimes by county prosecutors and our office are in fact guilty of those crimes,” Nessel said in a release. “By establishing this unit, we will work to make certain those ethical and legal obligations are met while providing justice to those wrongfully imprisoned and keeping dangerous offenders out of Michigan communities.”

It was modeled after the Conviction Integrity Unit founded by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. The unit will review eligible claims of innocence arising from state-law convictions in each of Michigan's counties other than Wayne County.

In cases that need further review, the unit will conduct its own investigation by interviewing victims, witnesses and testing physical evidence to determine whether a claimant is innocent.

The unit will be headed by criminal defense attorney Robyn B. Frankel. An intake process wil be in place by summer 2019.