Lansing, MI (WLNS) Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon says her comments on reviewing first-degree murder cases were pre-mature.
Last week, Siemon spoke with Lansing City Pulse and discussed her plans to review approximately 90 cases of convicted murderers serving life sentences with no chance of parole.
In a letter sent to 6 News, Siemon says she regrets not speaking to the families of people who could be impacted before her interview.
“My intent has always been that the victim’s families or their representatives would get their first notice from trained professionals in our office after any review and before offering support or opposition to any application to commute a sentence.”
But for Crystal Grigonis, even the thought of her ex-boyfriend getting out of prison is too much. In 2000, her child’s father Terence Lee Taylor broke into her home and stabbed her and two others.
Taylor was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of first-degree murder for killing Edward Arrequin. Taylor was 18 yrs old when he was sentenced to life without parole.
“If Carol Siemon wants to get people out of jail or prison, why is she working on the worse of the worse,” says Grigonis.
But others believe Siemon is courageous for taking this step.
“A prosecutor’s job is to ensure that justice is done, not just to secure convictions,” says criminal justice litigator Takura Nyamfukudza “I hope other prosecutors do it too.”
According to Siemon, the United States incarcerates 40% of the world’s life sentences, adding minorities are often the subjects of harsher sentences.
“We’re looking for a fair and just system that holds people accountable for what they’ve done wrong but also if they’re deserving of a second chance, they get a second chance.”
If Siemon’s office believes someone is deserving of freedom they will have to convince a parole board, before asking Governor Gretchen Whitmer to grant a commute sentence.