From Honors Student to Detroit Hit Man : The New Yorker
ABSTRACT: LETTER FROM DETROIT about Vincent Smothers, a Detroit hit man. Smothers started out as a troubled but well-intentioned kid who attended a Detroit magnet school; in 2007, he was arrested for murder and confessed to nine murders … by the time Smothers was arrested, another man, Davontae Sanfrod, had already confessed to them; today, both Sanford and Smothers maintain that the confession was false, and that Sanford is innocent.
What I wrote to the New Yorker:
“The Hit Man’s Tale, ABSTRACT: LETTER FROM DETROIT” is rife with inaccuracies. When arrested, self-professed Hit Man Vincent Smothers confessed to all 12 homicides he had committed … not 9, per the ABSTRACT, not 8, per the Detroit Free Press.
“Another man” did not confess to the Runyon Street quadruple homicide, as the ABSTRACT claims … half blind, developmentally disabled 14-year-old Davontae Sanford was coerced into confessing to the quadruple hit.
The Detroit Police have a history of coercing confessions from the mentally challenged. Eddie Joe Lloyd’s story is available on the Innocence Project’s website. Lloyd and Sanford even shared the same incompetent and malicious defense attorney. Another confirmed coerced confession is that of Damon Nathaniel.
Sanford will turn 20 behind bars next month, but will remain a child because of his disabilities. Among the many grotesque hostilities visited upon him by guards, he has been hogtied.
What has happened to Sanford – and his family – is entirely the fault of the mainstream media, which keeps doubling-down on its complicity in conviction corruption – nationwide – instead of reporting accurately out-of-gate and making corrections as needed.
The Detroit Free Press is a typical Gannett rag, no different from Florida Today, USA Today, etc., in persistently printing self-serving fictions. If the New Yorker is disinterested in becoming a rag, a legitimate story on the framing of Davontae Sanford should hit its pages as soon as humanly possible, complete with interviews with Smothers, Sanford and their families.