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Episode 45 – An Innocent Man in Prison for 9 Years & the Prosecutor Who Put Him Away!

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Episode 45 – An Innocent Man in Prison for 9 Years & the Prosecutor Who Put Him Away!

Episode 45 - An Innocent Man in Prison for 9 Years & the Prosecutor Who Put Him Away!

Ken Wyniemko served nine years in prison for a rape he did not commit. A former bowling manager and General Motors employee, Ken believes he was targeted by Clinton Township police. Ken has since been exonerated for this crime and the real rapist has confessed after Ken’s own legislation reform caught him. Ken now works with the Innocence Project to help other innocent men and women get out of prison. Carl Marlinga is a Macomb County judge and was the Prosecutor at the time of Ken’s sentencing. Carl was unaware of the injustice in Ken’s case and since finding out has been one of Ken’s biggest supporters.

Mike and Kevin sat down with Ken and Carl to figure out how and why this injustice happened to Carl. They discuss the recent Netflix series, “The Innocence Files” which has an episode dedicated to Ken’s story. They also analyze the evidence and testimony to figure out how the legal system can be improved for future cases. This is a story of forgiveness, systemic change, and steadfastness through the worst circumstances.

Show Notes

[00:08] Introducing today’s guests, Ken Wyniemko and Judge Carl Marlinga

[02:00] Ken’s book, “Deliberate Injustice” and The Innocence Files Netflix episode

[02:35] Judge Carl Marlinga was the prosecutor at the time of Ken’s conviction

[04:30] Ken’s opening thoughts on stopping wrongful convictions

[07:06] Ken outlines his childhood and growing up in Detroit 

[07:50] Ken explains why he didn’t move back to Macomb County after release

[09:00] Question to Judge Marlinga: How bad was Kenny’s case?

[12:00] Ken’s background in the bowling business and working for General Motors

[12:32] Ken tells story of altercation with Clinton Township Police Officer at the bowling alley

[20:39] Ken details the rape story and his recollection of the hearing the news story before he was arrested

[21:23] Ken talks about his arrest and getting handcuffed the first time

[22:30] Meeting the detectives and seeing the composite that “supposedly” looked like him

[24:12] Ken and Judge Marlinga reflect on the police lineup 

[26:43] Ken went home after the lineup and wasn’t allowed to go inside his house

[28:07] Ken describes going home after the police search and seeing everything in his house trashed

[29:00] Ken had no criminal record prior to conviction

[31:49] “The million dollar man” and Detective Osten’s comments to Ken 

[33:12] Ken’s court appointed attorney had a weekend to prepare

[39:49] “The prosecutor had tunnel vision in this case”

[44:54] Ken discusses evidence that excluded him from being the perpetrator

[46:20] Ken talks about his court-appointed attorney and the evidence that was not brought up at trial

[48:30] There were issues with the police lineup and Judge Marlinga shares his thoughts

[51:23] “All of the circumstantial evidence didn’t add up”

[54:33] Judge Marlinga’s take on the failure of the system for Ken

[59:09] “You couldn’t write a better script”

[01:02:04] Ken talks about going to prison and saying goodbye to his parents

[01:05:00] Why Kenny didn’t show remorse to the judge for a lesser sentence

[01:11:18] “How do we find people like you and save you?”

[01:13:10] The police burying the DNA evidence so that nobody would be embarrassed 

{01:15:43] The real perpetrator cannot be charged but did confess to the crime

[01:17:39] Ken made a bill that caught the guy who was guilty of the original crime

[01:20:50] Ken describes experience with apologetic police officer

[01:24:42] According to Ken, the biggest issue with wrongful conviction is eye witness testimony

[01:25:40] The fetish/habitual evidence helped the circumstantial evidence

[01:27:55] The police gave the snitch the police report to testify falsely against Ken

[01:30:00] Assistant Prosecutor Linda Davis never apologized but has said she felt bad for Ken

[01:31:03] What can be done to prevent these things from happening again according to Ken

[01:34:50] The Detroit Free Press breaking the story and Kim Shine

[01:37:20] Should the rape victim be mad at the police too?

[01:38:38] Is a Conviction Integrity Unit coming to Macomb?

[01:40:40] “Delays were always looked at as a trick of the defense”

[01:42:06] Ken’s advice for people who want to do something – innocenceproject.org

 [01:55:48] Kenny compares Texas law to Michigan law he is fighting to change

[01:57:25] Kenny was not allowed to go to his father’s funeral

[02:00:00] Ken’s closing thoughts and thank you

[02:00:44] Closing thoughts