Ingham County Prosecutor Siemon apologizes for earlier statements

Published: Feb. 4, 2020 at 11:01 AM EST
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Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon released a statement apologizing for her interview with a local newspaper, in which she stated that she would be reviewing older cases for the possibility of parole where people were sentenced to life without parole.

Siemon is calling her earlier interview with a local paper "premature."

"I regret that I did not fully take into account the impact on victims and their families when I prematurely discussed the concept of reviewing older cases of life-without-parole," Siemon said in her statement.

Siemon continues by saying that her plan to review older cases for the chance of parole would first, give victims families an opportunity to give their input, and any case that her office chooses to review would also be reviewed by the Parole Board.

Under Michigan law, only a recommendation from the Parole Board would be considered by the Governor to commute a sentence. Commutation is when someone serving a sentence is released, and would be considered to have finished serving their sentence.

"I apologize that I discussed this project first with the news media before we could develop a system to contact victims and their families, and that my action has caused suffering," Siemon said. "We would never take a position on an application to commute a sentence without first seeking input from the victim’s family or their representative."

Siemon said that she has apologized directly to the families of victims that have reached out to her.

Siemon does not have the authority to release inmates and apologized for getting the hopes up for families and supporters of people who are incarcerated.

Siemon maintained that her position is still to reduce the number of people serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole, and believes there are other alternatives.

She wrapped up her statement by saying, "if the concept of reviewing life-without-parole cases becomes a project with defined parameters, I will share real, honest, and accurate information about this project directly with the public."

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