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Detroit Legal Blog

Michigan’s Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act Helps Detroit Resident Receive $400,000 from the State

Apr 18, 2018, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense, Legal Blog
A Judge Making a Decision

After spending more than eight years in prison for murder he claims he did not commit, Detroit resident Davontae Sanford will receive $408,000 from the state of Michigan. The Michigan Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act helped Sanford win this award.

If you believe you or someone you love was wrongfully imprisoned, it is in your best interest to reach out to Maurice Davis, an experienced criminal defense attorney at Davis Law Group. He will closely examine the details of the case and may be able to help you seek justice.

Contact us at (313) 818-3238 today.

What is the Michigan Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act?

In December 2016, Governor Rick Snyder passed a law called the Michigan Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act. Under this law, the state is required to pay $50,000 for each year someone who was wrongfully convicted was imprisoned. Compensation for any attorney’s fees that were incurred may be awarded as well.

Anyone who believes they are eligible for this compensation has three years after the date of exoneration to submit a payment request. Individuals who were exonerated before the law was passed have 18 after the implementation date to file a claim.

August 2017 was the first month Michigan paid out awards since the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act went into effect. Ann Arbor resident Edward Carter received $1.7 million for spending more than 35 years in prison for a rape and robbery he did not commit. Marwin McHenry, who was wrongfully committed of a shooting and spent four years in prison, received $175,753.

The Davontae Sanford Case

In September 2007, Sanford was 14 years old and arrested for a quadruple homicide in a drug house on the east side of Detroit. According to Sanford, the police and his attorney tricked him into a confession and guilty plea. As a result, he was convicted of second-degree murder and began his time in prison at age 15.

After Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy dropped the charges against him, Sanford was released from prison in June 2016. Even though Worthy does not believe Sanford is innocent, Michigan officials do not agree, as documentation shows he does qualify for compensation under the Michigan Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act.

Sanford has chosen to pursue a lawsuit against the city in federal court. According to his attorney Julie Hurwitz, his trial will begin in January 2019. Hurwitz explained that the award Sanford received from the state will give him the opportunity to live a comfortable life until his case is closed.

Hurwitz hopes that the federal lawsuit goes well so that Sanford will have to return his $408,000 to the state and collect a higher federal award. She states that if he wins the federal lawsuit, there’s a good chance he’ll receive several million dollars.

Contact Davis Law Group for Help Today

For more information about Michigan’s Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act, you should consult a Michigan criminal defense attorney from Davis Law Group. Attorney Maurice Davis has experience helping innocent people seek justice, and he’s ready to help you.

Contact us today at (313) 818-3238 for a free case consultation.