… I find A. G. Cox’s determination not to intervene on Davontae’s Sanford’s behalf unacceptable, especially through the filter of my direct experience with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
From: Susan Chandler
Date: October 8, 2010 9:22:32 PM EDT
To: “AGCriminal” <AGCriminal@michigan.gov>
Cc: ASKDOJ <ASKDOJ@usdoj.gov>
Subject: Citizen Inquiry AG# 2010-0026914 – Davontae Sanford wrongful conviction
Dear Ms. Pendergast:
Thank you for your response. Please know that I find A. G. Cox’s determination not to intervene on Davontae’s Sanford’s behalf unacceptable, especially through the filter of my direct experience with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
In 1978, the Michigan Department of Social Services placed Linda Lou Griffin in my home for adoption. It became a lengthy legal battle over a probate judge again having withdrawn a child from DSS custody after Michigan taxpayers paid for termination of parental rights, foster care, medical treatment, etc. After such withdrawals, the probate judge would award custody to a private adoption agency that profited through immediate placement of the children without having incurred any expense.
The case went to appeals court. The probate judge issued a warrant for my arrest for kidnapping, issued an adoption certificate for another family that hadn’t undergone the home study required by law, etc. The battle cost us dearly; we had no way to pay our attorney but to hand him the keys to our waterfront home. It also cost, according to a renowned psychiatrist at Children’s Hospital, additional ground that Linda could have gained in overcoming the emotional duress of having five different mothers in three years of life.
Legendary A. G. Frank Kelley helped, without being asked. I now wish Kelley had afterwards labored to have the probate judge disrobed, setting a precedent that served as a warning to Michigan public servants that they’d best serve the public, with no other agenda.
Self-professed hit-man Vincent Smothers credibly confessed to the Runyon Street quadruple homicides while confessing to eight others. Davontae Sanford is blind in one eye, developmentally disabled, and was 14-years-old when those homicides took place; his false confession is consistent with the other false confessions documented in DNA exonerations, including that of now-deceased Detroiter Eddie Joe Lloyd, who had an incompetent public defender in common with Davontae.
At the end of the day, there’s not much difference between Wayne County Prosecutor Worthy’s malfeasance and A. G. Cox’s misfeasance … both corrode the integrity of the judicial system. So I ask that you approach to A. G. Cox change his mind and send that belated clear warning – through intervening for Davontae – that Michigan public servants best serve the public, with no other agenda. Thank you.
From: <“AGCriminal” <AGCriminal@michigan.gov>
Date: October 8, 2010 2:38:00 PM EDT
To: [Susan Chandler]
Subject: Citizen Inquiry AG# 2010-0026914
October 8, 2010
Citizen Inquiry AG# 2010-0026914
Attorney General Cox has asked that the Criminal Division reply to your e-mail in which you expressed your concerns about the charging decision made by your local prosecutor’s office regarding Devontae Sanford. We apologize for not responding sooner. However, this office receives hundreds of letters and e-mails each week and some delays are inevitable.
The primary responsibility for the enforcement of our criminal laws rests with the chief law enforcement officer of each county, the prosecutor. The decision to prosecute a criminal offense is a delicate and sometimes difficult one calling for the exercise of a broad discretion. As Michigan’s chief law enforcement officer, the Attorney General may intervene if it is clear that the prosecutor abused his/her discretion or if a conflict of interest exists.
Upon review of the facts presented, we cannot conclude that either condition exists. Therefore, we suggest that you continue to work with your county prosecutor’s office in pressing your complaint.
We sincerely regret our inability to provide assistance at this time.
Donna L. Pendergast
First Assistant Attorney General