News 08.08.07

Snitch testimony and a possible wrongful conviction in Michigan

Jailhouse informants have contributed to dozens of the 205 wrongful convictions to be overturned by DNA testing. In the ongoing appeals of Frederick Freeman, who is serving life in Michigan for a murder he says he didn’t commit, defense attorneys have shown that a witness against Freeman lied on the stand in exchange for a better sentence. He told the jury, however, that he would get no special treatment in exchange for his testimony.

One of the few would-be strengths of the prosecution's case was a jailhouse snitch who had shared a holding cell with Freeman for a few hours during the week before Freeman's trial. The snitch, Philip Joplin, testified that Freeman had confessed to killing Macklem. Joplin later recanted, saying he had lied to get a better deal from prosecutors and the judge. Documents show he got favorable treatment within a month after Freeman's trial.


Read more about Freeman’s case in today’s Detroit Metro Times

. (Part Two of a two-pert investigative report)

Read more about

snitch cases

in our Understand the Causes section.

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