Two Ecorse men wrongfully convicted in a 2001 shooting finally were set free from prison today when the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office dropped the charges against them.
DeShawn Reed and his uncle, Marvin Reed, gained their release after nearly eight years in prison at a bond hearing in Wayne County Circuit Court. Earlier this month, judge Patricia Fresard ruled their original conviction should be thrown out because of new evidence.
In the first case it has brought to trial, the University of Michigan Law School’s Innocence Clinic represented the Reeds, bringing the paralyzed shooting victim, Shannon Gholston, to court, where he recanted his earlier testimony naming the Reeds as his shooters.
Since the conviction had been based entirely on Gholston’s testimony, and since the U-M brought to light the importance of ballistics tests on a “smoking gun” found on another man, the prosecution declined to bring a new case.
Students at the Innocence Clinic, which opened last fall, researched the case and argued it in court in Detroit, along with professors David Moran and Bridget McCormack.
The Observer first reported the story in our June 2009 issue; click here to read the updated version posted on July 10.