Kwame Kilpatrick Files Last-Ditch Motion To Overturn Conviction

DETROIT (WWJ) – Not prepared to give up, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has filed a motion to overturn his conviction citing errors by the court.

In the documents filed in U.S. District Court court Friday, Kilpatrick is asking for a new trial on the grounds that, he claims, the judge gave jurors incorrect instructions and allowed “impermissible hearsay” testimony.

Among other technicalities, the documents allege that the court did not properly explain to jurors the definition of the phrase “official act” as it related to RICO conspiracy — the most serious charge against the ex-mayor.

[View a copy of the filing]

Once a popular young politician, Kilpatrick resigned from office in 2008 after pleading guilty to perjury in a sex and text messaging case. In 2013 he was found guilty on 24 of 30 corruption-related counts — including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion — sentenced to 28 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request for a new trial last year.

Attorney Harold Gurewitz, who has represented Kilpatrick, explained what this latest filing is all about.

“It is a motion asking the court to set aside his conviction based on a federal law that allows him to do that; it’s called habeas corpus,” Gurewitz said.

“It basically provides that after a person has been convicted in federal court and…that person has finished all their appeals to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, as Mr. Kilpatrick has, they can then go back to the District Court and make claims that their convictions were based upon something that was in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

Gurewitz noted that he was not involved in the filing and that Kilpatrick himself sent the documents to the court.

Separately, issues related to Kilpatrick’s restitution are still pending before a judge. Gurewitz said the hefty amount ordered does not satisfy legal requirements.

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