Man who served wrongful conviction to visit law school

Alton Logan, author of "Justice Failed: How 'Legal Ethics' Kept Me in Prison for 26 Years," will visit Western Michigan University Cooley Law School's Auburn Hills campus on Tuesday, May 22, in room 145 beginning at noon. Featured guests during visit include Berl Falbaum, co-author of the book, and Harold Winston, Logan's public defender.


In 1983, Logan, 28, was convicted of killing off-duty Cook County corrections officer Lloyd Wickliffe in a Chicago-area restaurant and was sentenced to life in prison. What Logan didn't know was that a man named Andrew Wilson had confessed to the crime. Wilson had confided his guilt to his attorneys, Dale Coventry and Jamie Kunz, who did not come forward with the information for more than two decades. A signed affidavit containing Wilson's confession had been hidden for years in a fireproof strong box in Coventry's home, keeping Logan behind bars.

Logan endured difficult choices during his time in prison, including being unable to attend his grandmother's funeral and choosing between 15 minutes with his mother, who was dying of breast cancer, or attending her funeral. He took courses in carpentry, electrical installation, typing, and earned his GED and associate of applied science certificate, as well as a certificate for building maintenance.

On April 17, 2009, Logan was declared innocent. After leaving prison, however, even with certifications, he found it difficult to become employed. Logan believed the government owed him for his wrongful conviction, even if it would not make up for the lost years.

The discussion is free and open for the public to attend. WMU-Cooley's Auburn Hills campus is located at 2630 Featherstone Road.