Gov. Whitmer denied clemency for Temujin Kensu, a murder convict who claims innocence

click to enlarge Temujin Kensu in 1985, left, and today. - MDOC
Temujin Kensu in 1985, left, and today.

While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently made waves for granting clemency for four men locked up for marijuana charges, including Michael Thompson, who was sentenced in 1996 to up to 60 years in prison after selling marijuana to an undercover cop, she denied clemency to another longstanding prisoner who supporters contend is innocent.

Temujin Kensu, née Frederick Freeman, 57, was convicted in 1986 for the murder of Scott Macklem in Port Huron, which Kensu and supporters have long argued was "physically impossible" since he was in the Upper Peninsula at the time and no evidence linked him to the crime scene.

Supporters told The Detroit News on Monday that Kensu's request for clemency was denied.

Whitmer's office told The Detroit News that the request was denied per the recommendation of the Michigan Parole Board. But supporters remain hopeful because Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's newly created Conviction Integrity Unit is considering an application from Kensu.

"This is where our confidence lies," David Sanders of the Royal Oak-based Proving Innocence project told the paper. "We fully trust that the CIU's independent review will reveal without a doubt that a great injustice was done to Temujin. "Our hope is that that the attorney general will present the facts from this comprehensive investigation to the governor and she will do the right thing and finally free a man so terribly wronged."

You can read Metro Times' two-part cover story on Kensu's case here and here.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in Hour Detroit, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.