Open Mike Podcast

Open Mike Podcast

Welcome to Open Mike, the podcast where Michigan’s leading attorney Mike Morse lays down the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when it comes to your rights, current events, and so much more. Hear exclusive interviews with superstar authors, leaders, activists, experts, and entrepreneurs telling it like it is. You’ll learn what insurance companies, the government, and other lawyers don’t want you to know — so you can go for the win in law, and in life!

Episodes

October 12, 2021 32 min

In 2005, 18-year-old Kenneth Nixon and his girlfriend were arrested and charged with murder, arson, and four counts of attempted murder in conjunction with a tragic Detroit firebombing that killed two children. While Kenneth’s girlfriend was acquitted by a jury, he was sentenced to two life sentences.

A collaborative review by the Medill Justice Project, Cooley Law Innocence Project, and Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit would...

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In June 1993, Navy veteran Derrick Sanders was arrested for the shooting death of a Milwaukee man he had assaulted seven months previously. Although he had no role in the man’s death, inept legal counsel advised him to plead no contest to charges of first-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime, and he was sentenced to 21 years to life in prison.

Over the next twenty-five years, Derrick would be entrenched in legal rigmarole ...

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In April 2010, Eric Anderson was arrested and charged for involvement in a robbery and beating of two men outside their Detroit home. At the time of the crime, Anderson was actually at a Coney Island, ten miles from the scene, where he was shot in the foot, necessitating immediate medical attention.

Despite hospital records confirming his treatment, and Coney Island security footage substantiating his injury, Eric would spend nine ...

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Detroiter Thelonious Seaercy has wrongfully served 17 years behind bars for a murder that a self-professed hitman has confessed to committing.

Despite no evidence tying him to the scene of the alleged crime, Searcy is stuck in a holding pattern. He and his lawyer await to see if the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office appeals a ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Why is he stuck under house arrest? Why doesn’t Prosecutor Wo...

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Eli Savit is a nationally recognized attorney, public servant, and civil rights advocate who currently serves as the Washtenaw County Prosecutor. Prior to his term, he served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was a civil-rights and public-interest attorney, and also had a career as a public-school teacher. In addition to serving as Washtenaw County's Prosecuting Attorney, Eli is a faculty member at th...

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On December 27, 1988, North Carolina resident Gilbert Poole was arrested and charged with the murder of a Michigan man he had never met. Due to faulty evidence, inaccurate eyewitness testimony, and inept defense counsel, he would ultimately be wrongfully convicted of murder and spend the next 32 years of his life in prison.

After independently maintaining his innocence for the first 14 years of his incarceration, Mr. Poole was repr...

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Marissa Boyers Bluestine is an award-winning criminal justice attorney and reform advocate who serves as the Assistant Director of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. As Assistant Director, she oversees policy and public awareness by promoting reform through cutting-edge data, public education, and legislative reform for issues and outdated laws that beleaguer th...

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Professor Marla Mitchell-Cichon is an attorney, advocate, and criminal justice expert who has helped facilitate the release of seven wrongfully convicted Michiganders. As Executive Director of the WMU-Cooley Law Innocence Project, she and her team, largely consisting of law students, work to secure the release of factually innocent people solely through post-conviction DNA evidence, the only innocence organization in the state of M...

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Mike Ware is the Executive Director of the Innocence Project of Texas, where he champions the rights of the wrongfully convicted and tirelessly fights to overturn their sentences. In this compelling installment of Open Mike, he discusses the egregious case of Lydell Grant, a Houston man who was convicted on the basis of six false identifications, only to be released from prison a decade later once crime scene evidence was finally r...

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In 1988, Alfonzo Riley’s friend asked him if he wanted to make some money. As a broke college student, he said yes. Little did he know that simple decision would shape the rest of his life.

Alfonzo ended up transporting drugs from Brooklyn to Albany in a transaction gone awry. Two men ended up losing their lives and, while he was in a different room when the shootings occurred, he was charged under New York’s controversial felony m...

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We’re making a departure from our standard format for a very special Father’s Day exclusive! In this heart-warming episode, Mike is joined by his daughters Jillian, Ella, and Lexie who flip the script on their dad and ask him the burning questions you’ve always craved the answers to. What career would Mike have if he weren’t a lawyer? Which professional snafu has he learned the most from? If he were a salad ingredient, which one wo...

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In 2007, Floridian Air Force Sargent Ron Wright was shocked to learn his friend Paula O’Conner and her infant son Elijah were horrifically strangled and murdered inside her home. Although no forensic evidence, weapon, cell records, or any testimony incriminated Ron, he was accused of the murder, and held in jail for six years until a 2013 trial where he would be determined guilty and sentenced to death. In 2017, the Florida Supreme...

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In 1973, Detroit artist and award-winning boxer Ray Gray was accused of breaking into a local drug dealer’s home and fatally shooting him. Though none of the surviving occupants were able to identify the invaders, Ray became a focus of the investigation. Tunnel vision, corruption, faulty identification processes, suppressed evidence, and failure to investigate other suspects culminated in additional tragedy — refusing to admit his ...

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While release from prison can be a joyful occasion, people who have been incarcerated face an entirely new series of challenges upon reclaiming their civilian status. Housing, a fundamental human right, is perhaps the most daunting of these challenges which can be observed in the disproportionately high number of homeless people with criminal histories. Pioneer Human Services is a Seattle-based social enterprise that partners with ...

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For the last sixteen years, Susan Slotnick has gone beyond the walls at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility to bring the joy, passion, and healing properties of modern dance to incarcerated men and boys.

After retiring the dance company she ran for forty years, Susan was free to teach in concordance with her true humanistic values: mindfulness, kindness, social justice, and universal accessibility. Her volunteer work in the prison...

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On February 20th, 2020, Kevin Baker and Sean Washington walked out of prison after spending twenty-five years locked up for a double-murder they didn’t commit. The trial that condemned them to a quarter century of incarceration relied on a sole witness who later acknowledged she was under the influence of crack cocaine at the time of the killings.

How did Kevin and Sean prove their innocence? Was justice for the victims ever attain...

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In April of 1989, teenage mother Sabrina Butler experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when her nine-month-old son Walter suddenly stopped breathing. Despite her intense resuscitation efforts, Walter was pronounced dead at the hospital. Sabrina was then subjected to interrogation by twelve police officers and three detectives — without an attorney present — only to be charged with capital murder and sentenced to death. After ye...

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Sex sting busts are often regarded as heroic acts justice, but the ethics surrounding them aren't necessarily clear-cut.

When a police set-up resulted in the incarceration of Kathleen Hambrick’s son, she claimed fraud due to a series of misleading interactions that equated to entrapment. Four years after his arrest, the Hambricks find themselves in legal limbo, having appealed the initial conviction, only to be recharged.

Throu...

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Robert Riggs is Peabody Award-winning journalist and digital media entrepreneur, widely regarded as one of the nation’s top investigative journalists. In his new podcast, Free to Kill, he exposes the rampant, deadly corruption that has come to poison many parole board systems across the country. In a disturbingly increasing trend, many parole boards let out vicious killers who go on to commit new crimes while refusing to parole the...

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Open Mike has made it to triple-digits! On our landmark, 100th installment, Mike reunites with three former guest exonerees, Aaron Salter, Julie Baumer, and Kenny Wyniemko, as well as two journalists who have been blazing a path to illuminate the wrongful conviction crisis, Kevin Dietz and Bill Proctor. In this groundbreaking centenary episode, our guests reflect on their detestable experiences in the criminal justice system, updat...

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