Editor’s Note: Court strikes a blow for justice

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

Lorinda Swain is finally free.

After 15 years of living under a wrongful sexual assault conviction, the state Supreme Court this week granted her request for a new trial, and the Calhoun County prosecutor’s office that had her put behind bars says it will drop the case.

Swain’s case stands as a shameful example of prosecutorial and police indifference and incompetence.

She was accused by her teenaged adopted son of abusing him when he was 5 or 6 years old. The accusations were so far-fetched that she should never have been brought to trial in the first place.

But the real injustice came when her son recanted his story and Swain and her attorneys provided the court with compelling evidence to prove her innocence. A local judge agreed, and ordered a new trial and her release from prison.

The prosecutor appealed, however, and the state appeals court stood on legal technicalities in denying Swain a new trial.

Justice has finally come to Swain, after the justice system ruined her life. Michigan residents should be demanding to know whether there are other cases like this where innocent people are in prison because courts, cops and prosecutors are too stubborn to admit they made a mistake.