LANSING, Mich. — Nearly 200 people here in Michigan have been wrongly convicted, sometimes spending decades behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit.
Friday in the state's Capitol, some of these people came together to rally for change.
Ramone Ward was set free after serving almost 30 years for a double murder he didn’t commit.
Ward says the issue is larger than getting people out of prison, it's also about offering those people support when they return to society.
“For the people that’s in a position to make a difference, I just hope they do the right thing and help exonerees get on their feet," Ward said.
Ward’s wife, Roeiah Epps-Ward, went to law school to help free her husband when she saw no one was coming to his rescue.
She says wrongful convictions don’t just impact the person serving time, they impact everyone.
“When you just say the name wrongful conviction. That means that someone is actually innocent. Well, if an innocent person is behind bars or in jail that means the guilty person is still on the street," said Epps-Ward.
Kisha Martin says she thinks more resources should be devoted to overturning wrongful convictions.
“I’m asking for funding for the conviction integrity units that need help with investigating these cases of people that are innocent because the families the friends and the loved ones are suffering," said Martin.
One of those family members is CaSara Jackson.
She says her son Cornelius is serving time for a murder he didn’t commit.
Jackson has been advocating for her child but says she’s hitting brick walls because the system is broken
“This last prosecutor in Jackson said even though he had some valid points in his motion he didn’t present it right. Well, we don’t have enough money to do that," said Jackson.
According to the 2020 National Registry of Exonerations report published in March, 129 people were exonerated last year.
Twenty of them were in Michigan.
The report says that exonerees in the U.S. have served nearly 25,000 years due to wrongful convictions.
Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.