A Michigan man imprisoned for 24 years has become one of the estimated 1 in 100 prisoners who have habeas corpus petitions granted through federal courts. The petitions allow prisoners to demand that the government prove they are being legally detained.
In the petition of convicted murderer Frederick Freeman, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood in Detroit conditionally granted him a new trial. Metro Times has followed the contentious case for the last three years. Proponents, including the University of Michigan Innocence Project, portray the 47-year-old Freeman as the victim of a railroading; others have branded him a dangerous sociopath who should spend the rest of his life incarcerated for a 1986 murder in Port Huron.
Hood's decision gives the state 90 days to retry or release him. The Michigan Attorney General's Office responded quickly with a notice of its intent to appeal to the federal Sixth Circuit Court in Cincinnati.