Two Michigan cases among Innocence Project’s 2009 success stories

Twenty-seven people, including two Michigan men, were exonerated by organizations in the Innocence Network this year after serving a combined 421 years in prison for crimes they did not commit, according to an Innocence Project report.

The report contains an account of Deshawn Reed and his uncle, Marvin Reed, who were exonerated on July 31 after eight years in prison with help from the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic.

The Reeds were convicted of a shooting that left the victim paralyzed based on the victim’s eyewitness testimony that the Reeds shot at him from a car. Other eyewitnesses, however, said the shots came from elsewhere and one eyewitness identified the shooter as Tyrone Allen. The Reeds presented half a dozen alibi witnesses.

Post-conviction, evidence tied the gun used in the shooting to Allen, who had been killed while committing a carjacking, according to the report. Allen’s girlfriend testified that he confessed to the shooting for which the Reeds were convicted.

The victim himself later testified that he never actually saw where the shots came from, and that he implicated the Reeds after family and friends suggested the Reeds were responsible.