You hear stories about wrongfully convicted individuals in the U.S. often. With as many as 2.3 million people either incarcerated or on parole, given that this country leads the world in incarceration, it’s not hard to understand how Dwight Love, 54, of Detroit, Michigan can be caught up in the system.
Yes, it happens all the time; and, unfortunately the only time we hear about it is when they’re released. Of ten, for us, we’re left to wonder what it must be like for them as they transition back into society.
There’s an ACLU report titled “Faces of Failing Public Defense Systems: Portraits of Michigan’s Constitutional Crisis” that highlights Dwight Love’s case and the ordeal to have his conviction overturned in 1998. The Huffington Post has a nice breakdown of his case below:
A man was shot to death outside Love’s apartment in Detroit while he was sleeping with his girlfriend on a September night in 1981. Though he did not match the physical description given by a witness, Love was put in a lineup and identified as the shooter. That was the prosecution’s only evidence.
But the public defender failed to investigate and mount a proper defense, according to the ACLU report. They did not call on a witness who would have been able to testify that no one had entered Love’s building after the shooting, nor question the first witness about the discrepancy between Love and his first description of the shooter.
A jury in Third Judicial Circuit Court convicted Love of first-degree murder and assault in 1982, but Love worked to get his case overturned. Years later an attorney discovered the prosecution withheld evidence that someone else had confessed to the crime.
The ACLU report said Love contracted a pulmonary condition while incarcerated at Wayne County Jail.
”I don’t have the words to say how I feel,” Love told The Detroit News in 2001. He was eventually released in 1998 after the case was thrown out in 1997, but prosecutors filed a new case that wasn’t dismissed until four years later. ”It’s been a nightmare. I guess I can start living my life now.”
Have you ever wondered what happens to someone who is wrongfully convicted upon release? Do you ever wonder how their lives ever turn out with the challenges they face? Surely they’ll ride on off into the sunset to live happily ever after having regained their freedom, right? But what if you’re Dwight Love and you contract pulmonary heart disease while serving 16-years of a life sentence?
Surely you’d never expect the system to ever fail you again on the off-chance that you collapse after a heart attack, right? I mean, that’s why we have a 911 emergency system, right
? I guess the answer to that last question depends on where one may live. Because like Flavor Flav told us back in the 90s: 911 is a joke. And unfortunately for Dwight Love — a man once wrongfully convicted — he had to die earlier this month after waiting for 46 minutes for an ambulance in the city of Detroit. As if being wrongfully convicted wasn’t bad enough, the system had to fail him again.
If you’re not angry after reading up to this point, here’s something to really get you fired up. Last December, the city of Detroit received 13 brand new ambulances. The 13 ambulances were the last of 29 ambulances donated at the cost of $160,000 per ambulance. Metro Detroit companies as part of the Downtown Development Partnership donated $8 million which facilitated the purchase.
But yet for some reason, the Interim Detroit Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson says that on the day that Dwight Love died, there were only 19 ambulances available in the city, but they were all tied up at the time, and that “We want to do better,” as told to Detroit’s WJBK..
Check out the video below via myfoxdetroit.com: