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Released Juvenile Lifer John Sam Hall Comes Home

Detroit New: After 50 years, a second chance

The Detroit News reports that released juvenile lifer John Sam Hall has returned “home” to live with his sister in Augusta, Georgia, after 50 years in Michigan prisons for a crime he committed as a juvenile. Hall, who was represented by SADO’s Valerie Newman, was nervous about seeing family members to whom he was a stranger, but he was welcomed home by 40 eager relatives waiting with open arms. One family member told Hall, “We don’t know you like we should, but we will."
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Michigan Indigent Defense Commission Releases Next Set of Standards

Comments invited through October 6, 2017

The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission met on April 18, 2017 at the MIDC office in Lansing, Michigan.  At that meeting, the Commission announced that the first four standards for indigent criminal defense services are pending a decision by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs now that the public comment period closed on March 9, 2017.  Those first four standards cover training and education of counsel, the initial client interview, use of investigation and experts, and counsel at first appearance and other critical stages. Read More


SADO/CDRC Expert Witnesses Database Updated

The Expert Witnesses Database on SADO’s website has been updated with transcripts from 100 recent cases featuring expert witnesses in a variety of fields, such as Alcohol Blood Analysis, Forensic Accounting, and Memory Disorders. Read more


"Field Days" interviews SADO mitigation specialist Pete Martel

Pete Martel, SADO mitigation specialist, was recently interviewed on “Field Days,” a Michigan Department of Corrections podcast hosted by Greg Staub and Chris Gautz. In the interview, Pete describes his incredible life journey from prison to paralegal to his current position with SADO. Read More


SADO's Juvenile Lifer Unit Secures Term of Years Sentences for Clients formerly Sentenced to Life Without Parole

Michigan's Juvenile Lifers--individuals sentenced to mandatory life without parole for offenses they committed as children age 17 years old or under--are entitled to resentencing following Montgomery v Louisiana, __ US __; (Docket No. 14-280, issued 1/25/16), and pursuant to the procedures set forth in MCL 769.25a. In July 2016, prosecutor offices around the state filed motions seeking the re-imposition of life without parole sentences for approximately 229 of Michigan's approximately 363 juvenile lifers. Resentencing hearings will take place over an expanded period of time. In these cases, the prosecution will continue to seek the re-imposition of a life sentence while defense counsel will seek the imposition of a term of years sentence, the minimum of which can be between 25 to 40 years and the maximum of which is 60 years, pursuant to MCL 769.25a. Read More


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This project was funded by the Byrne JAG grant #2010-DJ-BX-0003, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and administered by the Michigan state Police (MSP). Points of view or opinions contained within this document do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the MSP or DOJ.