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Lawyer: DNA Exonerates Mich. Man

August 26, 2002

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DETROIT (AP) _ A man who has spent more than 17 years in prison for murder should go free based on new DNA evidence, an attorney with the Innocence Project said Sunday.

Eddie Joe Lloyd was convicted in 1985 of raping and murdering 16-year-old Michelle Jackson based on a confession police obtained while he was in a mental hospital and on medication.

But recent DNA tests show he didn’t commit the crime, said Barry Scheck, an attorney who co-founded the Innocence Project, which seeks to use post-conviction DNA evidence to exonerate innocent inmates.

A Monday hearing was scheduled in Wayne County Circuit Court. Prosecutor Mike Duggan and the Detroit Police Department were to join Scheck in asking for Lloyd’s release.

Police got the confession by telling Lloyd that he could help ``smoke out″ the real perpetrator and provided him with details of the crime that he couldn’t have known, Scheck said.

The Innocence Project and former U.S. Attorney Saul Green will ask federal officials to investigate police conduct in the case, he said.

Scheck said The Innocence Project, which he co-founded in 1992 at New York’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, has been working on the Lloyd case for seven years.

A Michigan law that went into effect last year allows inmates serving sentences for felony convictions to ask the court for DNA testing and a new trial if they can show the tests might prove their innocence.

If the judge grants the request, Lloyd would be the 110th convicted person in the U.S. and the first in Michigan to be exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing, according to the Innocence Project.

Scheck said this case illustrates the need for video taping or audio taping interrogations, and for using special caution when questioning people who are mentally ill or mentally retarded.

``In my gut, this cased propels that need into the public consciousness,″ he said.

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