UPDATE 6/7/16: Davontae Sanford is to released on his own recognizance tomorrow. All credit goes to Vincent Smothers – one of the actual perpetrators – who would not “go along to get along.” My sincere thanks to everyone who has shared the story of Davontae’s frame-up and Vincent’s heroism, worldwide, and put pressure on authorities to do the right thing. Now it’s time to push for Davontae’s persecutors to be brought to justice by the FBI and Department of Justice.
UPDATE 5/24/16: It appears – at long last – that Michigan is prepared to acknowledge that Vincent Smothers 2008 confession was evidence-based and entirely credible, and that Davontae Sanford should be freed. The best coverage of unfolding events to date that I’ve found so far came from Michigan Radio’s Kate Wells, and can be found here. Rather than releasing Davontae on recognizance, Michigan is moving him from facility to facility. Please share this post with the hashtag #ROR (for Release on Recognizance) to push for Davontae’s immediate release. When Davontae is safe, we can begin to push for his persecutors to pay the full price of his malicious prosecution. When he is safe, we can begin to push to undo more of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s travesties.
Davontae Sanfords’s innocence was clear in 2008, when “hit man” Vincent Smothers confessed to his role in the quadruple homicide that Davontae was convicted of, and named his accomplice. Davontae’s only 19, half-blind and developmentally disabled. Corrections employees should be taking a special interest in protecting him, but reports are that they’re instead torturing him. Speak up.
From: Susan Chandler
Date: April 30, 2012 4:48:22 PM EDT
To: Bill Schuette <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Davontae Sanford; cleared by perpetrator, falsely imprisoned, reportedly abused – Citizen Inquiry AG# 2010-0026914
Dear Attorney General Shuette:
I am writing to insist that you end 19-year-old Davontae Sanford’s false imprisonment. There are reports that Davontae and other inmates are being abused by Ionia corrections officers.
To review my previous correspondence: In 2007, Detroit police coerced an incredible false confession to a single-handed quadruple homicide from 14-year-old, half-blind, developmentally-disabled Davontae without a parent or advocate present. In 2008, “Hit Man” Vincent Smothers confessed to being one of the two adult shooters; he has reasserted his guilt at every opportunity, accurately describing the homicides and weapons (link below).
You announced today, in regards to unpaid child support, “It is a privilege to help more than 10,000 children and their parents when they need it most.”
You haven’t helped Davontae and his parents when they needed it the most, the minute you took office. Because you didn’t, they all have additional losses and traumas to heal from. Myfoxdetroit described Davontae as a man. He’s still a teen. He’s still half-blind. He’s still developmentally disabled. He’s still innocent.
Drop whatever you’re doing and do what you should have done in January of 2011 … send Davontae home. Then make sure that coerced confessions, malicious prosecution, judicial malfeasance and cruel and unusual punishment end in Michigan.
Subject: False imprisonment of Davontae Sanford – Citizen Inquiry AG# 2010-0026914
The Honorable Bill Schuette, Attorney General
Please make it clear that you do, too.