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Retiring Justice McCormack calls for fix to exoneration law

Bridget Mary McCormack.jpg

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack has called on the new Legislature to fix a legal loophole that denies compensation for people wrongfully convicted of felonies after a decision from the court on Thursday, December 22.

A Supreme Court decision says Michigan’s Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act only applies when new evidence is uncovered to exonerate a convicted defendant. However, that law does not cover instances where prosecutorial misconduct or ineffective assistance of defense counsel played a role. That’s exactly what happened to Charles Dale Perry Junior, who was convicted in 1990 of five counts of criminal sexual conduct. Perry was acquitted on appeal.

McCormack reluctantly concurred with the rest of the court that Perry is NOT entitled to compensation, which could add up to $300,000, but McCormack said he should be.

Her final words were, “please fix it, legislators.” McCormack is leaving the court this year.