In addition, there's been another development in Rick's favor regarding the Michigan Parole Board. Consider that another five-yard gain. More on that in a moment.
|Ralph Musilli, Rick Wershe's attorney
|Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball
In mid-December the Wershe defense team filed a new pleading in Detroit federal court for a writ of habeas corpus. That means the State of Michigan must appear before a federal judge and explain why they are keeping Wershe in prison in light of prevailing case law indicating he should be released on parole. The State, represented by the State Attorney General, has until June to come up with an answer. This is in addition to the civil rights lawsuit being considered by the Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The motion for a writ of habeas corpus apparently was one legal battle too many for the State of Michigan over this lone prisoner.
Less than a week later, the Michigan Parole Board announced they were moving up Wershe's next scheduled parole review by nearly a year. Wershe was amazed as the "system" started working on the process in earnest over the Christmas holidays. In his 29 years in prison he says he's never seen them move this fast on a parole.
The next step is for a designated member of the Parole Board to formally interview Wershe face to face to determine if he's fit for parole. Eric Smith, the number two guy at Oaks Correctional Facility, where Wershe is serving his time, has said Rick Wershe is as close to being a model prisoner as possible.
Now we learn the chairperson of the Parole Board himself, Michael Eagen, is going to personally participate with member Sonia Amos-Warchock in Wershe's mid-February interview. Now THAT is an interesting development.
“It’s really getting interesting," Musilli says in, what is for him, a rare moment of understatement.
Simply put: the Michigan Parole Board now has two, count 'em-TWO, federal courts demanding answers regarding inmate Richard J. Wershe, Jr.
Attorney Ralph Musilli again: