Articles Posted in Criminal Injustice

When a criminal defendant is accused of harming a child, they have to deal with several entities: the police, the prosecutor, the judge, and even Child Protective Services (CPS). When a child is hurt, our instincts are to protect the youth, but what happens when the child is lying or being taught to create a story. Custody battles, mental health concerns, and a lack of evidence often come into the equation of these criminal prosecutions. One entity often overlooked is the role that Child Protective Services can play in criminal prosecution. To learn more about this subject, we spoke to several of the top attorneys in the state of Michigan.

Matthew McManus is the Managing Member of McManus and Associates in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (https://www.mcmanusamadeo.com/). McManus is known for outside-of-the-box motions on this topic.  McManus said, “Many times a criminal defendant will feel relaxed with a CPS Agent without realizing that the entity is a government agency. This can make a difficult situation nearly impossible if not handled properly.”

Jennifer Kelley is a Senior Associate for McManus and Amadeo. (https://www.mcmanusamadeo.com/jennifer-kelley.html). She has become one of the top divorce lawyers in Washtenaw County, Michigan.  Kelley said, “In many ways, a divorce or a custody matter becomes more heated than a criminal case. More often than you would expect, a parent will utilize the child as a form of revenge. When this happens, the attorney needs to be on top of their game.”

What if I told you that a bag of peanut M & Ms was what led to a false confession? Would you believe me?  And wouldyou believe that the reason an individual made such a confession was because they wanted the M & Ms so bad they told the police what they wanted to hear?  Today, we are going to discuss the topic of the confession and what can lead to one making an admission to something that they did not do.  

The story starts with a young man that was questioned by the Michigan State Police. The young man was a suspect of a crime.  He went into the police station and took a police polygraph.  He was never read his Miranda Warnings and was at the station for 7 hours.  The young man had mental health issues and all he wanted to do was leave the station.  He was tired and he was hungry.  The officer asked if the young man liked some candy.  He responded that he would love some peanut M & Ms.  The officer said he could have the M & Ms if he would just tell the police a few things.  From there the camera accidentallywent off but luckily for the prosecution, a written statement was present.  The young man got his M & Ms and also got life in prison for a murder that DNA proved was not his.  We hear horror stories of the West Memphis Three, The Central Park Five and Brendan Dassey. While all of these cases are tragedies, there are so many other that tragically fall under the radar.  To combat this issue, the qualified criminal defense lawyer needs to bring in a false confession expert.  Today, we spoke to several of the top lawyers in the state of Michigan to discuss the 6-step process of how you should make your argument at the Daubert Hearing for the False Confession Expert.

Step I:  The Introduction.  This is when you lay the foundation for who your false confession expert is. This will generally be 5 to 7 questions that will connect the expert with your judge.  Matthew McManus is the Managing Member of McManus and Amadeo in Washtenaw County, Michigan and is known as one of the top brief writers in the state of Michigan.  When asked about the introduction, McMauns stated, Its like the first quarter of a football game. You want to start strong.  You do not need to go too long but you need to set the tone.  Short and Sweet after you provided the CV for your expert and you start off on the right foot.

While Michigan abolished the death penalty in the state constitution in 1964, the term “Capital Case” now has a new meaning in our state, and this is life in prison. While many advocates, including those of the ACLU (www.aclu.org), stand against the death penalty, many feel that a life sentence in the Michigan Department of Corrections (www.Michigan.gov) is a penalty far worse than death. For those charged with a capital case, choosing the attorney to fight for their freedom becomes the most pivotal of decisions. Today, we spoke to several of the top lawyers in the State of Michigan to discuss how to combat a capital case.

Matthew McManus is the Managing Member of McManus and Amadeo (www.mcmanusamadeo.com) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and his firm has over 100 capital cases currently in litigation. McManus spoke on the subject when he said, “The capital case is a concept where the stakes could not be higher. We often get a private polygraph done with retired Michigan State Police Officer Andrew Longuski (www.propolygraphllc.com) to see if the defendant can pass a test. If you can pass a Longuski test, we then ask for a police test. Sadly, many prosecutors on a case such as this do not care about polygraph results, but the test certainly has value in other aspects of litigation.”

Jennifer Kelley is a Senior Associate for McManus and Amadeo and one of the top family law attorneys in Michigan. Kelley stated, “When we have this type of case, we often research the surroundings of the defendant. If the alleged victim is a family member or a former relationship product, we find out if there is a motive. In many of these cases, there is limited or no physical evidence, and the prosecutor is simply taking the word of someone.”

The Atlanta Child Murders was a topic at the center of the criminal justice universe from 1979-1981. The Atlanta murders of 1979–1981, sometimes called the Atlanta child murders, were a series of murders committed in Atlanta, Georgia, between July 1979 and May 1981. Over the two years, at least 28 children, adolescents, and adults were killed. In the April 2020, during a HBO Documentary, “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children,” new evidence was presented, making people wonder if the wrong person was convicted of a crime.

The defendant was a young man named Wayne Williams. Williams was born on May 27, 1958, and raised in the Dixie Hills neighborhood of southwest Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Homer and Faye Williams. Both of his parents were teachers. Williams graduated from Douglas High School and developed a keen interest in radio and journalism. He constructed his own carrier current radio station. He began visiting stations such as WIGO and WAOK, where he befriended a number of the announcing crew and began dabbling in becoming a pop music producer and manager. Williams was often being accused of the crimes because of his suspicion of homosexuality in the early ’80s.

As displayed in the documentary, many of the victims’ parents do not believe that Wayne Williams committed these murders. President Reagan’s startling revelation may have been involved in making sure a young black man was unjustly found guilty of these crimes has stirred controversy. To discuss this matter in greater detail, we spoke to several of the top lawyers in the State of Michigan to gain their insight.

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