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SADO/MAACS - Litigating 6.500 Motions - The Keys to Correcting Wrongful Convictons Through Michigan' s Post Conviction Gateway

Time: October 22, 2020 - 3-4pm
Location: Zoom

Michigan's 6.500 motion rules are needlessly complicated, but also provide a fairly robust pathway for litigating new evidence that materially impacts the validity of a criminal conviction. Although actual innocence is mostly not a requirement to utilizing this procedural pathway, the rule is especially useful in seeking to correct wrongful convictions. Moreover, as the Michigan Supreme Court has taken greater interest in reducing wrongful convictions in recent years, the 6.500 pathway has been broadened in interesting ways. This session will cover the nuts and bolts of 6.500 motions - how to avoid the usual landmines and best practices to ensuring success—by drawing lessons from significant recent wrongful conviction cases.

Faculty: Imran Syed is a clinical assistant professor of law and the assistant director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic. He also teaches a seminar on forensic science and conducts labs for first-year criminal law courses. In 2017, Professor Syed was named one of the Top 40 Young
Lawyers in the country by the American Bar Association, and he also was recognized by the State Bar of Michigan in 2016 with the Regeana Myrick Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award. Professor Syed earned both his JD and an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Michigan. While in law school, Professor Syed worked in the Innocence Clinic as a student-attorney and, upon graduation, served as a clinical fellow in the Clinic. As part of teaching in the Innocence Clinic, Professor Syed has supervised students investigating and litigating a wide variety of cases, including several of the clinic's forensic science-based innocence cases. Having litigated several arson wrongful convictions that were based on outdated fire science, Professor Syed has written articles discussing the novel litigation strategies needed to address wrongful convictions based on outdated scientific evidence. Professor Syed also wrote and produced a documentary film, The Price of Providence, about one of the Innocence Clinic's wrongful conviction cases. The film premiered at the 2015 Great Lakes Film Festival, where it received the Audience Choice Award.

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