Battler for the wrongly convicted will join Wayne County Prosecutor's Office

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 01:30:26 PM. Former State Appellate Defender Valerie Newman is the director of the newly-formed conviction integrity unit in the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.
Former State Appellate Defender Valerie Newman is the director of the newly-formed conviction integrity unit in the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. After years of going head to head with Wayne County prosecutors, a veteran criminal defense attorney is switching gears: She's going to help her former opponents get better at what they do so that innocent people don't get locked up. And it was the prosecutor's office that asked for her help. Former State Appellate Defender Valerie Newman, who built a reputation freeing the wrongly convicted, started her new job Monday as director of the newly-formed conviction integrity unit within the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. The unit, which will look at possible wrongful convictions, is the 30th of its kind in the country and will have two full time lawyers, a project consultant lawyer, a full time investigator, part time investigator, and an administrative staff person. The group will be covered by the county's general fund for $660,000 a year and will focus primarily on murder cases — a task that up until now has been left up to innocence clinics, universities and social justice law firms whose resources are limited.  Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has previously said that the unit isn't a response to any uptick in bad cases — though there have been some recent high-profile cases that garnered negative publicity for Detroit police and local prosecutors. Related:  Jailed as teens, some Michigan murderers get shot at freedom...Read more
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