Daily Briefs

Man wrongly convicted of two murders awarded about $10M

DETROIT (AP) — Arbitrators have awarded about $10 million to a Detroit-area man who spent more than 16 years in prison before two murder convictions were overturned.

Mubarez Ahmed insisted he was wrongly convicted of a 2001 double homicide in Detroit. The Wayne County prosecutor’s office in 2018 acknowledged that the convictions were fueled by false testimony and other problems.

Ahmed was released from prison that same year and subsequently sued Detroit police, saying his rights were violated.

A panel of three arbitrators, all former judges, awarded $9.95 million Friday, attorney Wolf Mueller said.

Ahmed and attorneys for Detroit had agreed that the decision would be binding on both sides.

Ahmed’s convictions were investigated by private eye Scott Lewis and the Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan law school.

“This was a really weak case. ... An eyewitness ID was the entire case against him. There was no other evidence,” clinic director David Moran said in 2018. “She described the shooter as someone of a different race than Ahmed, and there was also an obvious suspect who wasn’t investigated.”


Board declines to certify LGBTQ rights ballot drive

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan elections board on Monday declined to certify an LGBTQ-rights ballot drive because it did not submit enough voter signatures.

The 4-0 vote from two Democrats and two Republicans came after the elections bureau did a second review and estimated Fair and Equal Michigan turned in roughly 263,000 valid signatures, about 76,000 short. The group, whose donors include prominent businesses, had spent $2.9 million to gather more than 468,000 signatures.

It vowed to appeal the determination in court.

The proposal would revise the state’s 1976 civil rights law to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. Organizers want to place the measure before the Republican-led Legislature, where similar legislation has long stalled. If lawmakers did not act, it would go to a statewide vote in November 2022.

Election staffers ruled many signatures ineligible because the signers were not registered voters or there were address, date or other errors.


OCBA?webinar looks at trial practice in juvenile cases Aug. 12

The Oakland County Bar Association will present “Trial Practice in Juvenile Cases” as an online webinar on Thursday, August 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This seminar presents an overview of effective trial strategies.  Speaking at the program will be Robert J. Zivian.

Cost is $12 for OCBA members pre-registration and $25 for non-members pre-registration. Oakland County MIDC court appointed attorneys can attend for free. The Zoom link will be provided in a confirmation email upon registration. To register, visit www.ocba.org and click on “events.”

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