Contact: Jennifer Putney
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 01, 2021
Macomb County Prosecutor Budget Seeks Conviction Integrity Unit Prosecutor
Mount Clemens, Michigan — Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido’s pending 2022 budget request seeks funding for an assistant prosecuting attorney to run a newly-created Conviction Integrity Unit.
The Prosecutor’s Conviction Integrity Unit will investigate potential wrongful conviction cases, and claims of innocence to determine whether new evidence shows a person has been wrongfully convicted. If Lucido’s budget request is approved, a highly skilled and qualified assistant prosecuting attorney would be dedicated to conducting extrajudicial, fact-based review of convictions to investigate plausible allegations of actual innocence. The decision to set aside a conviction ultimately rests with a judge.
“Our justice system relies heavily on the integrity of those responsible for the operation of it,” stated Prosecutor Lucido. “This Unit is vital to ensuring justice, working diligently to prevent, identify, and remedy false convictions.”
Lucido’s Conviction Integrity Unit request will be reviewed during a time when the criminal trial of the former Macomb County Prosecutor remains unresolved in 41B District Court in Clinton Township.
Lucido’s budget request emphasizes integrity and putting lawyers in courtrooms. Lucido’s budget request is pending in the county’s normal budget process, which requires review by the County Executive and submission to the County Commission. In August, Lucido participated in meetings with the Macomb County Finance Department, the Office of County Executive, and several Macomb County Commissioners to discuss the current status of the Prosecutor’s Office and future financial needs. Prosecutor Lucido stressed that public safety must be the county’s first priority.
Lucido has consistently argued the Prosecutor’s Office is woefully underfunded and is lagging behind. The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Conviction Integrity Unit would be the 4th of its kind in Michigan, following Wayne, Oakland, and the Attorney General. Lucido’s pending budget request seeks to add additional funding for 9 full-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, 4 part-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, 6 full time Administrative Staff, and 5 part-time administrative.
Lucido’s budget request seeks to adequately staff and train for newly created units: Conviction Integrity Unit, Hate Crimes Unit, Human Trafficking Unit, Major Crimes Unit, and an Environmental Unit.
Lucido is also working with the Macomb County IT Department on his pending request for two major technology projects: a digital evidence management system and a case management system. Lucido said these systems are needed for many reasons, including due to a large increase in video evidence from police body cameras, store and homeowner video security systems, and mobile phone videos.