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Sixth Circuit Affirms - MCL 769.25a(6) Violates Ex Post Facto Clause

Hill v Snyder, decided August 14, 2018

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that MCL 769.25a(6), which deprived resentenced juvenile lifers of disciplinary and good time credit earned before March 4, 2014, is an unconstitutional ex post facto law. Hill v Snyder, 308 F Supp 3d 893 (ED Mich, 2018). The Michigan Court of Appeals reached the same conclusion, adopting the reasoning of the federal district court. People v Wiley, ___ Mich App ___ (2018) (issued May 4, 2018). Now the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed the ruling of the federal district court, holding that MCL 769.25a(6) subjected plaintiffs to a harsher punishment than the law in effect at the time of their offense and original sentencing. Read More

SADO Attorney Mike Waldo Obtains New Trial for Darrell Siggers after 34 Years' Incarceration

Conviction Vacated Based on Faulty Ballistics Evidence

The Detroit Free Press reports that Darrell Siggers was released last Friday after 34 years in prison for a crime he says he did not commit. SADO’s Mike Waldo successfully argued that ballistics evidence used to convict Mr. Siggers was inaccurate. A new trial is scheduled for December. Mr. Siggers says, “Being in prison for 34 years for something that you didn’t do, and then to be free … it’s just an awesome moment. I feel wonderful.” Read More

SADO Attorney Erin Van Campen Successfully Litigates Right to Expert Assistance

People v Kennedy (issued June 29, 2018)

The Michigan Supreme Court has broadened the rights of indigent defendants to expert assistance by adopting a constitutional standard of review for requests for funds to hire experts. Under People v Kennedy, it should now be easier for indigent defendants to obtain funds for expert assistance and to obtain a much broader range of assistance from experts. Kennedy marks a significant and positive change in Michigan jurisprudence. Read More

Project Reentry Publishes Newsletter for Returning Citizens

The Drum: Articles, Stories, and Resources for the JLWOP Community

The August 2018 issue of The Drum is now available. The Drum is a publication, produced by SADO’s Project Reentry, featuring articles by and for former juvenile lifers returning to the community. The Drum also identifies a wide variety of resources for returning citizens, including financial budgeting, employment opportunities, and community tips. This month’s issue features an article about how to pursue professional licensing, job opportunities for returning citizens, a spotlight on Eric Brown, the app of the month, and the first installment of a series focusing on mental health. Read More

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This project was funded by the Byrne JAG grant #2010-DJ-BX-0003, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and administered by the Michigan state Police (MSP). Points of view or opinions contained within this document do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the MSP or DOJ.