Attorney General Dana Nessel launched a new Conviction Integrity Unit to investigate credible claims of innocence. Housed within the department’s Criminal Appellate Division, the new unit will be led by Robyn B. Frankel, who has been a practicing attorney for more than 30 years and has expertise in trial and appellate court proceedings in both state and federal courts.
The unit will review eligible claims of innocence arising from state-law convictions using existing court records and any newly discovered evidence submitted by claimants. In cases where further review is merited, the unit will work in tandem with county prosecutors, law enforcement, defense attorneys and innocence clinics. Moreover, where necessary, the unit will conduct its own investigation by interviewing victims, witnesses and testing physical evidence using the most updated scientific techniques to determine whether a claimant is innocent of the crime(s) for which he or she was convicted and sentenced. Once a determination is made that a claimant convicted of a state crime in Michigan is innocent, Attorney General Nessel, in her role as the top law enforcement officer in Michigan, will take the appropriate remedial action, which may include vacating the claimant’s conviction(s) and dismissing the charge(s) against them.
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