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Welcome to Open Mike, the podcast where Michigan’s leading attorney Mike Morse lays down the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when it comes to your rights, current events, and so much more. Hear exclusive interviews with superstar authors, leaders, activists, experts, and entrepreneurs telling it like it is. You’ll learn what insurance companies, the government, and other lawyers don’t want you to know — so you can go for the win in law, and in life!
 
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In April 2010, Eric Anderson was arrested and charged for involvement in a robbery and beating of two men outside their Detroit home. At the time of the crime, Anderson was actually at a Coney Island, ten miles from the scene, where he was shot in the foot, necessitating immediate medical attention. Despite hospital records confirming his treatment…
 
Detroiter Thelonious Seaercy has wrongfully served 17 years behind bars for a murder that a self-professed hitman has confessed to committing. Despite no evidence tying him to the scene of the alleged crime, Searcy is stuck in a holding pattern. He and his lawyer await to see if the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office appeals a ruling from the Michiga…
 
Eli Savit is a nationally recognized attorney, public servant, and civil rights advocate who currently serves as the Washtenaw County Prosecutor. Prior to his term, he served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was a civil-rights and public-interest attorney, and also had a career as a public-school teacher. In addition to …
 
On December 27, 1988, North Carolina resident Gilbert Poole was arrested and charged with the murder of a Michigan man he had never met. Due to faulty evidence, inaccurate eyewitness testimony, and inept defense counsel, he would ultimately be wrongfully convicted of murder and spend the next 32 years of his life in prison. After independently main…
 
Marissa Boyers Bluestine is an award-winning criminal justice attorney and reform advocate who serves as the Assistant Director of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. As Assistant Director, she oversees policy and public awareness by promoting reform through cutting-edge data, pu…
 
Professor Marla Mitchell-Cichon is an attorney, advocate, and criminal justice expert who has helped facilitate the release of seven wrongfully convicted Michiganders. As Executive Director of the WMU-Cooley Law Innocence Project, she and her team, largely consisting of law students, work to secure the release of factually innocent people solely th…
 
Mike Ware is the Executive Director of the Innocence Project of Texas, where he champions the rights of the wrongfully convicted and tirelessly fights to overturn their sentences. In this compelling installment of Open Mike, he discusses the egregious case of Lydell Grant, a Houston man who was convicted on the basis of six false identifications, o…
 
In 1988, Alfonzo Riley’s friend asked him if he wanted to make some money. As a broke college student, he said yes. Little did he know that simple decision would shape the rest of his life. Alfonzo ended up transporting drugs from Brooklyn to Albany in a transaction gone awry. Two men ended up losing their lives and, while he was in a different roo…
 
We’re making a departure from our standard format for a very special Father’s Day exclusive! In this heart-warming episode, Mike is joined by his daughters Jillian, Ella, and Lexie who flip the script on their dad and ask him the burning questions you’ve always craved the answers to. What career would Mike have if he weren’t a lawyer? Which profess…
 
In 2007, Floridian Air Force Sargent Ron Wright was shocked to learn his friend Paula O’Conner and her infant son Elijah were horrifically strangled and murdered inside her home. Although no forensic evidence, weapon, cell records, or any testimony incriminated Ron, he was accused of the murder, and held in jail for six years until a 2013 trial whe…
 
In 1973, Detroit artist and award-winning boxer Ray Gray was accused of breaking into a local drug dealer’s home and fatally shooting him. Though none of the surviving occupants were able to identify the invaders, Ray became a focus of the investigation. Tunnel vision, corruption, faulty identification processes, suppressed evidence, and failure to…
 
While release from prison can be a joyful occasion, people who have been incarcerated face an entirely new series of challenges upon reclaiming their civilian status. Housing, a fundamental human right, is perhaps the most daunting of these challenges which can be observed in the disproportionately high number of homeless people with criminal histo…
 
For the last sixteen years, Susan Slotnick has gone beyond the walls at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility to bring the joy, passion, and healing properties of modern dance to incarcerated men and boys. After retiring the dance company she ran for forty years, Susan was free to teach in concordance with her true humanistic values: mindfulness, ki…
 
On February 20th, 2020, Kevin Baker and Sean Washington walked out of prison after spending twenty-five years locked up for a double-murder they didn’t commit. The trial that condemned them to a quarter century of incarceration relied on a sole witness who later acknowledged she was under the influence of crack cocaine at the time of the killings. …
 
In April of 1989, teenage mother Sabrina Butler experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when her nine-month-old son Walter suddenly stopped breathing. Despite her intense resuscitation efforts, Walter was pronounced dead at the hospital. Sabrina was then subjected to interrogation by twelve police officers and three detectives — without an attor…
 
Sex sting busts are often regarded as heroic acts justice, but the ethics surrounding them aren't necessarily clear-cut. When a police set-up resulted in the incarceration of Kathleen Hambrick’s son, she claimed fraud due to a series of misleading interactions that equated to entrapment. Four years after his arrest, the Hambricks find themselves in…
 
Robert Riggs is Peabody Award-winning journalist and digital media entrepreneur, widely regarded as one of the nation’s top investigative journalists. In his new podcast, Free to Kill, he exposes the rampant, deadly corruption that has come to poison many parole board systems across the country. In a disturbingly increasing trend, many parole board…
 
Open Mike has made it to triple-digits! On our landmark, 100th installment, Mike reunites with three former guest exonerees, Aaron Salter, Julie Baumer, and Kenny Wyniemko, as well as two journalists who have been blazing a path to illuminate the wrongful conviction crisis, Kevin Dietz and Bill Proctor. In this groundbreaking centenary episode, our…
 
For nearly two decades, Chris Mumma has served as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, having represented 8 exonorees and fighting for a half a dozen more still behind bars. During her impressive tenure, she has forced legislation on multiple issues regarding wrongful convictions and established the only innocenc…
 
On December 2nd, 1999, Timothy Cole died of an asthma attack while in prison for a sexual assault he didn’t commit. Stunned by the injustice of the loss, his brother Cory vowed to clear his brother’s name and ensure such a tragedy never befall anyone else. His family, joined by the victim and the Texas Innocence Project, successfully overturned Tim…
 
What if you could nourish both the bodies and the souls of your fellow neighbors? We the People Opportunity Farm has accomplished just that for Washtenaw County and its inhabitants. The community farming project has sowed the seeds for its participants’ success by investing in the employment and development of formerly incarcerated men and women th…
 
The entire world has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but few industries have been hit as uniquely hard as the bar and restaurant sector. Recognizing the dire straits the industry faces, Michigan-born comedian Jason Douglas was compelled to help and launched Pay it Forward Comedy, a virtual standup series that distributes crowd-sourced fund…
 
At age 17, Philadelphian Terrance Lewis found himself falsely accused of the 1996 murder of Hulon Howard, incriminated by the deceased’s girlfriend who was under the influence of crack cocaine at the time. After an excruciating two-year-long investigation, Lewis was ultimately convicted of murder and sent to prison. He would remain wrongfully incar…
 
This week, Open Mike welcomes its first faceless guest! Meet Ghost, a mysterious vigilante who has launched Creep Catching Unit, an online movement dedicated toward keeping communities safe by exposing and reporting pedophiles. CC Unit operates independently of law enforcement to entrap and confront predators who believe they’re meeting up with chi…
 
Imran Syed is nationally recognized attorney, professor, and documentary film producer. As assistant director of Michigan’s Innocence Clinic, he and a coterie of supervised law students are at the forefront of criminal justice reform, investigating and litigating a wide variety of cases with special focus on forensic science-based innocence. Having…
 
Show Notes [00:14] Kate Judson’s background and bio as Executive Director of the Center for Integrity in Forensic Sciences. [01:37] Welcome to the show! I’m so excited to talk to you – on Open Mike, we’ve never really focused on forensics. I’m reading a quote from you that says there have been 2,500 exonerations since 1989… is that right? [02:18] I…
 
Do you enjoy sugary, deep-fried treats? What about a nice, relaxing drink after a long day? Thanks to Detroit City Distillery’s palate-tickling paczki vodka, you can have both at the same time! In this intoxicating episode, distillery co-owner Michael Forsyth discusses how the concoction is steeped Detroit’s Polish heritage, explains the innovative…
 
Mike McCormick is a dedicated father, husband, and community leader committed to teaching developing male minds the essence of authentic masculinity. Our antiquated, social norms often compel men to resist vulnerability, withdraw, and insist everything is within their control, while larger questions of what it means to be a man go unanswered. Many …
 
In 1980, Iowan man William Beeman was accused of murdering a woman named Michiel Winkel. However, Winkel was seen by several witnesses for days after the alleged time of her murder. Despite this testimony, Beeman has remained in prison for the last forty years. Enter Erica Nichols Cook, the Director Wrongful Conviction Division at the Iowa State Pu…
 
David Rudolf and Sonya Pfeiffer are spouses, attorneys at Rudolf Widenhouse law firm, and co-hosts of the popular podcast Abuse of Power. However, they may both be best known for their work on North Carolina vs. Peterson, a bizarre, 15-year-long case that was documented on the Netflix smash-hit, The Staircase. In this don’t-miss episode of Open Mik…
 
As a former writer for The Tonight Show, humor columnist, and podcast personality, Frank King is a natural comedian. However, similar to many comedians, he has battled depression and suicidal ideation his entire life, conditions that run in his family. Frank realized that his comedic skills provided him a casual platform through which he could reac…
 
At age seventeen, Jeffrey Deskovic was wrongfully sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a classmate. Authorities knew his DNA did not match that of the actual perpetrator – who would later murder another young woman and mother of two. Nevertheless, they colluded to convict and keep Jeff behind bars for the next 16 years. After his …
 
Brian Banks is a highly sought-after community educator, author, law school graduate, and former Michigan State Representative. But despite his tremendous career, he has experienced an equally tremendous degree of hardship along the way, from a dysfunctional childhood, to an adolescence marred by fraud charges, to corrupt political forces ousting h…
 
At the age of 16, Mario Bueno was convicted of second-degree murder and spent the next nineteen years in prison — three of which were in solitary confinement. Today, he is a reform expert, author, scholar, and co-founder of LUCK, Inc., an organization dedicated toward mentoring vulnerable populations within the Detroit Metropolitan Area. On this ep…
 
John S. Cooper is the executive director of Safe & Just Michigan, an organization that advances policies that end Michigan’s over-use of incarceration and promote community safety and healing. As currently constituted, Michigan’s criminal justice system prioritizes punishment, over public safety. Most policies emphasize being tough on crime instead…
 
Tricia Rojo Bushnell is the Executive Director of the Midwest Innocence Project, which works to free innocent people convicted of crimes they did not commit. Megan Crane is Co-Director at MacArthur Justice Center, an organization that fights cases to right individual wrongs, and confront racial and social inequality. Together, they have partnered t…
 
Dr. Jon Gould is an internationally known expert on justice policy, social change, and government reform. An accomplished author, his book The Innocence Commission: Preventing Wrongful Convictions and Restoring the Criminal Justice System was named an Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association. In this episode of Open Mike, Dr. …
 
On April 15, 1994, two men in Kansas City, Kansas were shot dead in broad daylight. Lamonte McIntyre, an innocent seventeen-year-old, was falsely accused of the crime. Due to multiple, hideous perversions of justice, he would spend the next twenty-three years in prison. Today, he is a successful businessman and co-founder of Miracle of Innocence, a…
 
Crime affects all of our lives—anyone can be accused, know someone accused, or serve on a jury. Mitigation expert and author Victoria Rusk gets to the “whys” behind a crime, helping jurors, DAs, and attorneys to work for fair and appropriate punishments, in hopes of reducing the American mass incarceration crisis. Her recent book The Handbook of Mi…
 
Sean Dustin has led a tumultuous life. After a troubled childhood, he found himself in and out of state and federal prisons as an adult, serving time for drug trafficking, and fraud. After his 2006 release, he suffered with a meth amphetamine addiction before finally kicking the habit and committing himself to a life on the straight and narrow. The…
 
In 2003, Julie Baumer took her six-week-old nephew to the hospital after noticing he was fussy, lethargic, and refusing food. It kicked off a chain reaction that ended in Julie wrongfully serving four years behind bars after prosecutors erroneously claimed she violently shook her nephew, causing permanent brain damage. A 2010 retrial confirmed the …
 
Everyone inevitably approaches mortality — why do some people seem to linger on in this world as spirits, while most don’t? We all know the well-established Hollywood trope of “unfinished business,” but paranormal investigator Kris Sumner thinks the answer is more complicated than that. Since the 2014 launch of Soul Sisters Paranormal, her all-fema…
 
Coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community can be a sensitive, complex process for someone to navigate. Enter Annie Henderson, Life coach, educator, consultant, and coming-out coach. After getting married at age nineteen, Annie embarked on her own journey of rejecting her people-pleasing ways and embracing her authentic, full self. These days s…
 
For the last eleven years, Nick Hathaway has been a Referee in Wayne County Circuit Court’s Family Division, dealing with cases of serious child abuse and neglect, as well as juvenile criminal matters. Currently, he’s running as a judicial candidate for the Wayne County Third Circuit Court, targeting one of two vacant seats. In this episode of Open…
 
Everyone remembers where they were on of September 11, 2001, a day that forever changed the fabric of our country. On that fateful morning, Virginia Buckingham was working as the head of Boston Logan International Airport — the departure site for the airliners that slammed into the Twin Towers. In this powerful installment of Open Mike Podcast, Vir…
 
Emily Gaudreau was on assignment shooting Playboy’s 2008 “Party School of the Year” showcase when she put her camera away, vowing to never use it again. Since then, she has aligned with her true purpose as a sexual abuse prevention advocate and parenting coach. In this episode of Open Mike, Emily and Mike discuss crucial topics the modern parent ne…
 
In 1992, singer-songwriter Jimmy Dennis was wrongfully convicted of murder. He was sent to death row for 25 years until his 2017 exoneration. Miraculously, he avoided execution. Who’s to blame for this atrocity? A corrupt Philadelphia police department. Prosecution that destroyed evidence. A fundamentally broken criminal justice system. How do we r…
 
What type of person would willingly allow themselves to be incarcerated for 60 days? As a former Corrections Officer and Military Intelligence Officer, Mark Din is no stranger to high-stakes situations. However, nothing could have prepared him for life on the inside when he agreed to be locked up for A&E’s hit reality TV series, 60 Days In. This we…
 
Stacks of money. Excess of drugs. Sex with models. These are tropes found in most Martin Scorsese films. They were also staples of Richard Bronson’s actual life. Today, he is CEO of 70 Million Jobs, which does the honorable work of helping people with criminal records find employment. But, in the 1980s, he was leading a lavish, hedonistic lifestyle…
 
In a nation where up to 10% of incarcerated people may be wrongfully convicted, how do you determine who’s innocent and who’s guilty? Dr. Burton Bentley is an emergency medicine physician who helmed a company called Elite Medical Experts. Its mission is to provide expert medical opinions in complex litigation in the hopes of avoiding such miscarria…
 
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