The ceremonial Bill signing for compensation to those wrongfully imprisoned in Michigan took place in Lansing, on Tuesday February 14, 2017.
Cooley Law school invited Michigan exonerees to a reception prior to the signing scheduled for 3pm. I asked my elderly father if he was up to taking the trip from our residence in Roseville to our state’s capital. Of course, he was up to it. It is something that we have been waiting for a very long time. So as, not to be rushed, we arrived thirty minutes prior to the scheduled time. To my surprise, many of my fellow exonerees were already present with their families. Obviously, the joy and anticipation of the day’s events were also felt by them.
During the Cooley reception, we all had time to breath, relax, and catch up with each other. It was a moving experience and I’m thankful for the gratitude and hospitality that the staff and students from Cooley Law extended to all present.
After the reception, we all walked to the Capitol Building where we met State Representative Stephanie Change, who sponsored the bill, along with Steve Bieda in the Senate. The group was formally introduced to the House of Representatives with a warm welcoming.
Afterward we headed over to meet Governor Snyder, and witness his signing the of the Bill. The law will become affective March 29th, 2017.
Overall the whole experience was not only memorable, but personally enabled me to experience a form of closure. By partaking in the events on the 14th, I felt as if the State of Michigan finally was acknowledging and accepting the fact that it was responsible for my wrongful incarceration. In short, it felt like an apology to me, which helps in my continued effort to heal, emotionally and mentally, from all I experienced as one being wrongfully accused, convicted and imprisoned a crime that never occurred.
I’m very grateful and thankful for all involved in the Innocence movement, may God continue to keep and bless everyone.
- Written by Barbara Kennedy
Author’s Note: Every wrongful conviction causes dual torment: the torment of the innocent yet imprisoned individual, and the social torment that the actual perpetrator remains free. This blog focuses primarily on the latter, in the hope that we will gain more knowledge about the murderer of Scott Macklem.
Post #1: Misdirection
Scott Macklem was 20 years old when he was found shot to death in a parking lot at St. Clair County Community College on November 5, 1986. The man convicted in his murder did not have an opportunity or the means to carry out this crime. He was convicted based on what I am loathe to describe as circumstantial evidence, since it was actually hypothetical evidence, manufactured evidence, wild speculation, and copious references to the accused’s “bad character.” In fact, there is more than copious, actual evidence that this was a wrongful conviction. The wrongful conviction is another crime, which will be addressed in later posts. Suffice it to say, I’m convinced as is every legal scholar, independent law enforcement consultant and investigator who has looked at this case, that the person who killed Scott Macklem is still at large.
Scott was a 1984 graduate of Croswell-Lexington High School. He was popular, and a star athlete on the baseball and golf teams. At the time of his murder, he was taking general business courses at St. Clair County Community College. He missed his 8:00 a.m. gym class that morning. That wasn’t particularly unusual, since his attendance at college had been irregular. What was unusual was when Scott was found, his gym bag lay next to his body. Why did Scott have a gym bag outside his car when he didn’t go to his gym class?
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