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Can a life sentence be reversed with new information?

Mason, MI |

I have a friend who is in prison for murder doing a life sentence. He was convicted solely on the testimony of his brother who is also serving a life sentence, and from a statement that was beat out of him by a police officer. This same officer shot and killed his officer wife then himself a year later. Do we have a chance given the credibility of this officer? Is this worth pursuing? My friend was just at the wrong place during the wrong time.

At the time of the interrogation my friend stated the police officer beat him and forced him to sign a confession. This allegation was thrown out. The police officer had several domestic violence charges filed against him by his wife who was also an officer before he shot and killed her. The Detroit Police covered this up and never filed the charges so now her family is suing. I thought that maybe since it's been established that this officer has a history of abusive behavior, that may help to support my friend stating an admission was forced out of him. There was no additional evidence to support the crime and one of the prosecutions witnesses statements supported my friends statement and their only other witness was a crackhead. I believe the police just wanted to close the case quickly and nobody cared enough to look at the lack of evidence.

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Attorney answers 4


How is that new information? Appeals are available, but very costly and you truly need new evidence. You can certainly discuss it with an experienced appellate attorney to see what can be done.


Under very limited circumstance you can re-open this appeal.


That is not new evidence.

D. Chipman Venie

D. Chipman Venie


Mr. Shafer is correct, everything you listed above is not "new evidence." If you presented your evidence to a jury and they just did not agree with you, that is not generally, a reason to appeal. As Mr. Shafer said, that is not new evidence.


There is a lot more going on here than you are telling us. As my colleagues have pointed out, this does not seem to be new evidence. But beyond that, the first thing a lawyer would need to know is the complete procedural history of this case. If you are serious about pursuing this you will need to have an appellate attorney from Michigan review and evaluate the case to give you an opinion as to what might be possible. The evaluation itself would be a major, and probably a somewhat costly, project.

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