The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Innocent Man Freed after Eight Years

Nov 9, 2009

Dwayne Provience, from Detroit, Michigan, was just freed after spending eight years, since 2001, in jail for a murder he always maintained he did not commit. His case was taken by the University of Michigan’s law clinic, the Innocence Project, in which law students research cases regarded as wrongful conviction.

What came out after all these years is that the police had information that would have shown Provience’s innocence. But the evidence was never given to Provience’s lawyer. In addition, the only eye-witness accusing him was in jail facing criminal charges and told conflicting stories about Provience. The testimony of other witnesses who contradicted him was not used.

In a 2003 trial – after Provience was convicted – the police argued someone else had killed the man he was accused of killing.

In other words, prosecutors and police were so keen to clear up a killing, they kept an innocent man in jail for more than six years after 2003, when they knew he didn’t do it.

In a justice system that listens only to those with high-priced lawyers, the poor go to jail. And there are far too few law students and lawyers doing the unpaid work to prove these injustices.