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SADO Seeks Summer Interns

Applications considered through February 23, 2018

The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) is seeking first and second-year law students for fulltime summer 2018 internships in the Detroit office. SADO provides representation to indigent clients who appeal their state criminal convictions.The SADO summer internship program runs from late May 2018 through early August 2018. Interns will assist as second chair with some combination of client communication, investigation, legal research, brief writing, and trial court hearings. The internship is unpaid, but SADO will assist in securing course credit or fellowship funding. Read More


Former SADO Attorney Valerie Newman Now Director of Wayne County Prosecutor's Conviction Integrity Unit

Detroit Free Press reports on newly formed unit

Valerie Newman has battled prosecutors as an attorney at the State Appellate Defenders Office for 23 years. Now she has joined the other side – to help her former opponents avoid sending innocent people to jail. On Monday, November 13, 2017, Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy announced that Newman had joined the Prosecutor’s Office as the director of the newly formed Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU). The CIU was created to prevent mistakes in prosecution and look into possible wrongful conviction prosecutions. Regarding her new position Newman said, "I am honored to be leading this new cutting edge unit. I look forward to continuing my work improving the criminal justice system and investigating innocence claims." Read More


Former Juvenile Lifer Antonio Espree Joins Incoming Class at Arizona State University

Espree interviewed on Michigan Radio's Stateside

It was only a fantasy, an impossible dream. But this fall the dream came true for former juvenile lifer Antonio Espree when he joined some 11,500 new students in the incoming class at Arizona State University. Mr. Espree was recently interviewed by Cynthia Canty on Michigan Radio’s Stateside. In the interview, Espree describes the circumstances surrounding his arrest at age 16, his path toward maturity while in prison, and his aspirations for the future, beginning with his enrollment in ASU’s School of Social Transformation seeking a degree in Justice Studies. Read More


SADO Juvenile Lifer Unit Seeks Summer Interns

Applications considered through February 23, 2018

The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) Juvenile Lifer Unit is seeking first and second year law students for full-time summer 2018 internships in the Detroit and Lansing offices. SADO provides representation to indigent clients who appeal their state criminal convictions. The 2018 Juvenile Lifer Unit summer interns will work directly with the Juvenile Lifer Unit attorneys. SADO represents nearly two-thirds of Michigan’s 360 juvenile lifers currently serving unconstitutional sentences, and is responsible for developing mitigation and litigation strategies for resentencing hearings conducted pursuant to MCL 769.25a and Miller v Alabama, 567 US 460 (2012). SADO seeks qualified interns to work collaboratively within Juvenile Lifer Unit teams. Read More


The Drum Publishes First Issue

Articles, Stories, and Resources for the JLWOP Community

The Drum is a new 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. It also includes articles from returning citizens describing their struggles and successes. Editor Brook Wolters writes, “We often hear stories from you of success and struggles, questions, and feelings of joy and loneliness. We want The Drum to be a place where these things can be addressed by members of the JLWOP community, and to serve as a reminder that you are not alone.” Read More


SADO Hosts Informational Session for Friends and Family

Next Session: December 5, 2017 in Detroit

Join SADO for an Informational Session on what to expect after a loved one is convicted of a crime and sentenced to the Michigan Department of Corrections. SADO staff will be on hand to address the process of appealing a conviction and how an appeal is different from the trial or plea proceedings, and will inform attendees on the visiting policies of the MDOC, how to communicate and stay connected with your incarcerated loved ones, and more. Read more


SADO's Juvenile Lifer Unit Secures Term of Years Sentences for Clients formerly Sentenced to Life Without Parole

Michigan's Juvenile Lifers--individuals sentenced to mandatory life without parole for offenses they committed as children age 17 years old or under--are entitled to resentencing following Montgomery v Louisiana, __ US __; (Docket No. 14-280, issued 1/25/16), and pursuant to the procedures set forth in MCL 769.25a. In July 2016, prosecutor offices around the state filed motions seeking the re-imposition of life without parole sentences for approximately 229 of Michigan's approximately 363 juvenile lifers. Resentencing hearings will take place over an expanded period of time. In these cases, the prosecution will continue to seek the re-imposition of a life sentence while defense counsel will seek the imposition of a term of years sentence, the minimum of which can be between 25 to 40 years and the maximum of which is 60 years, pursuant to MCL 769.25a. 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.