by Hugo Adam Bedau and Michael L. Radelet

Excerpt from Appendix A: Catalogue of Defendants

CLARK, CHARLES LEE (black). 1938. Michigan. Clark was convicted of felony murder and robbery, and sentenced to life imprisonment. During the late 1950s, Clark refused to apply for parole or accept a commutation of his sentence on the ground that to do so would imply that he was guilty when in fact he was entirely innocent. In 1968, initiatives by the Detroit Legal Aid and Defender’s Association led to the granting of a new trial for Clark. At the retrial, the only eyewitness from the original trial admitted that she had never been able to identify Clark and that her testimony had been affected by a police detective telling her at the lineup, “That’s the man who shot your father.”1 On motion from the prosecutor, the case was dismissed and Clark was released. In 1972, for his thirty years in prison, the legislature awarded him an indemnity of $10,000.2


1. Wash. Post, June 12, 1981, at 16A, col. 5.
2. Act Approved Jan. 28, 1972, No. 1, 1972 Mich. Pub. Acts 1. See generally People v. Anderson, 389 Mich. 155, 179-80, 200-02, 205 N.W.2d 461, 472, 484 (1973); Wash. Post, June 12, 1981, at 16A, col. 5.; Boston Globe, Jan. 29, 1972, at 2, col. 2; Detroit Free Press, Dec. 17, 1971, at 6B, col. 1;