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WMU-Cooley Innocence Project Works to Get Compensation for Michigan’s Wrongfully Convicted Kenneth Wyniemko and Donya Davis, both exonerees who were represented by the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project, along with the clinic’s director and law school Professor Marla Mitchell-Cichon, recently appeared before the Michigan House Criminal Justice Committee to support Senate Bill 291, which would provide compensation for wrongfully convicted Michigan citizens, and House Bill 5815, which would provide for re-entry services to exonerees. Following the hearing the committee voted unanimously to send the bills to a full vote of the Michigan House of Representatives.

Michigan exonerees Kenneth Wyniemko and Donya Davis join Marla Mitchell-Cichon and the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project team at the Lansing Capitol building.

“Take a minute to consider all that you might lose during the years of wrongful incarceration. Then consider how you would begin to put your life back together. Where would you live? How would you support yourself? How would you explain where you have been when you apply for a job? These are just a few of the challenges that Michigan citizens who have been wrongfully convicted face on a daily basis.” MARLA MITCHELL-CICHON

The WMU-Cooley Innocence Project is part of the national Innocence Network, which has been credited with the release of more than 344 wrongfully convicted individuals, mainly through the use of DNA testing. WMU-Cooley’s Innocence Project has exonerated three men: Wyniemko, Davis, and Nathaniel Hatchett.  

Marla Mitchell-Cichon with Ken Wyniemko (left) and Donya Davis (right).

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Benchmark | Winter 2016