To: Michigan Attorney General-Conviction Integrity Unit, Michigan Department of Corrections, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer, Lieutenant Governors of Michigan Garlin Gilchrist II
Release Steven Hibbler From A Life Prison Sentence Due To An Unfair Prosecution Immediately
We call on the Michigan Department of Corrections, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer, Lieutenant Governors of Michigan Garlin Gilchrist II, to immediately release Steven Hibbler from serving a life sentence due to an unfair trial.
Why is this important?
Steven Hibbler, (#245787), has been a prisoner at the Michigan Department Of Corrections since 1995 for a crime he did not commit. Although an affidavit and testimony under oath from a member involved in the shooting were given, Steven Hibbler has been denied a retrial due to the justice system's failures.
These failures include but are not limited to:
* The first day of trial it was brought to the court's attention by an anonymous call indicating that he/she was a friend of the family of the deceased and that a juror knew the family and had a potential relationship with the decease's daughter. Yet the judge "never" questioned the juror and allow him to stay on the jury.
Id in (TT).
* During the trial, the prosecutor openly admitted it to the judge that although their theory was that Steven shot the decease, but not being able to predict the evidence or testimony they " do not" know whose shot caused the death of Mr. Leitz. So, the state thinks under aiding and abetting Steven himself does not have to actually be the one who fired any shots. Because the prosecutor was concerned that he had to prove Steven shot the deceased, and he could not.
Id at (TT)p.1093-1197
* Both Steven's trial attorney and appellate attorney both admitted their ineffectiveness when it came to Steven's case. Both attorneys also conceded that they literately made "mistakes" that could have affected the outcome of Steven's legal proceedings. Equally important, both trial and appellate attorneys stated, that their mistakes "were not" their trial or appellate strategy.
Id. in Evidentiary Hearing (TT)
* Prosecutorial Misconduct throughout Steven's entire trial proceedings. Rather, it was when he personally vouch for the credibility of the witness or the fact he would use the derogatory term to describe the teenage boys as" THUGS" when there was never any evidence to substantiate his usage of that language. Steven had "no" prior criminal history.
Id in open and closing statements.
Now, after two decades and a half, there has been a new development in Steven's case that brings about renewed hope. Compounding all the abuses, Steven has suffered immensely at the hands of a broken criminal justice system.
We have now learned of newly exculpatory evidence that the prosecutor "intentionally" withheld from Steven's attorneys in a desperate effort to railroad Steven. The prosecutor who handled Steven's trial had knowledge that the "Key Eye Witness" in his case had previously testified in Lonnie Avant's preliminary examination to seeing and knowing the "name" of the person who actually shot and killed Mr. Leitz, which he stated, it was Charles Bell and Steven Hibbler "did not" shoot!
During trial and appeals, Steven's attorneys requested "all" relevant documents pertaining to his case, but the prosecutor suppressed favorable evidence that could have proven Steven's innocence. This new evidence collaborates and validates Steven's version of what happens, Lonnie Avant's affidavit and hearing testimony.
Under Brady v Maryland, the United States Supreme Court made clear that prosecutors " must" turn over "all" evidence that is favorable to the defendant and material to issues of guilt or punishment. Equally important, the prosecutor had a moral and ethical responsibility according to the American Bar Association standards, Rule 3.8(h), "When a prosecutor knows of clear and convincing evidence establishing that a defendant in the prosecutor's jurisdiction was convicted of an offense that the defendant did not commit, the prosecutor shall seek to remedy the conviction."
Fortunately, this new information is currently being reviewed by the Michigan Attorney General's--Conviction Integrity Unit; who has the power to investigate and reverse this wrongful conviction.
While under the knee of injustice, Steven has managed to completely transform his life. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Sociology and has also collaborated with Yale School of Art. He is a published poet and an accomplished artist whose artwork has appeared in the October 2019 edition of The Harper's Magazine as well as several art exhibits and installations. Steven is a member of The Theory Group, an Inside Out Prison Exchange Program alumni group that train professors and instructors from around the world in critical pedagogy. He is also a co-creator and facilitator of the Inside Out Theory Group's Restorative Justice curriculum and program.
Over the years, Steven has developed the core belief that we are all interconnected as human beings and can change the world around us by doing one good deed at a time.
Steven Hibbler needs your help to affirm his innocence. After twenty-five years of wrongful imprisonment, he deserves immediate justice. Please don't turn your back on justice.