Lorinda Swain Speaks To WBCK
It's a position Lorinda Swain has maintained from the beginning: She is innocent of molestation charges asserted by her then-6-year-old adopted son, Ronnie. After 15 years, she's finally free of the cloud that has followed her since then.
It didn't happen quickly, certainly. Lorinda, who is from Calhoun County, spent 8 years in prison after a 2002 conviction - even after Ronnie recanted his charges. But, the wheels of justice were turning - and they slow to a stop something like a freight train. Then, she spent another 7 years through an appeals process that culminated in a decision from the Michigan Supreme Court. Once the top court ruled Lorinda should have a new trial, the Calhoun County Prosecutor's Office declined to take up a new case.
The Michigan Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School took on Lorinda's case, re-examining it - re-investigating it. The Clinic's director, attorney David Moran, spoke to us recently about the incidence of wrongful convictions - a statistic that may surprise you. It's their work that led to the Supreme Court decision.
We sat down for a lengthy interview with Lorinda in which she is quite frank: She was a troubled person at the time the allegations were levied by her son. She also talked plainly about jail, how she maintained her strength when it seemed she'd never get out, and what she planned to do if the Supreme Court did not rule in her favor.