Agacinski, who recently headed the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, says nothing was ever done to address the concerns he outlined.
"I was low-middle-ranking management. I wasn't part of top level," he told Truthout. "Nobody ever told me anything else and I have no idea if [the memo] was acted upon."
One informant Agacinski mentioned by name in the memo was Lacino Hamilton's snitch, Olivera Rico Cowen, a man living with AIDS. In July 1994, three weeks before Hamilton was arrested for his foster mother's murder, Cowen was granted a radically reduced sentence for cooperating with homicide detectives. Instead of serving five to 15 years in prison, he would only have to do a year - as long as he continued to cooperate with homicide investigators.
But Cowen didn't live that long. He spent the last months of his life on the ninth floor of the police department, loyally trying to coerce a confession out of Hamilton.
"Reading and Rebelling"
Lacino Hamilton rejects the legitimacy of the entire carceral system, and says his resistance to the system's dictates has likely made his life harder in his current prison, the already violent Kinross Correctional Facility. Over the last 19 years, Hamilton frequently bounced around different prisons until ending up at Kinross, near the Canadian border.
"I don't know how to reconcile or accept this. I just don't know how, so I don't try," he told Truthout, adding that he spent much of his time "reading and rebelling."
Even after nearly two decades of imprisonment, Hamilton rages against prisons, police and a whole social order founded on oppression.
"How some of us live is not a mistake; neither is it the product of a broken system," he wrote in an essay from prison. "We live like that because it is profitable to a lot of people businesses: pawn shops, pay-day loan services, slum lords, creditors, social services, and others who traffic in misery."
These days, Hamilton has reason to feel optimistic. After writing to thousands of journalists, lawyers and colleges to plead his case, he finally got in touch with Claudia Whitman from the NDRAN, who supplied this reporter with most of the documents behind this story. Whitman also made contact with Christopher Brooks, the prisoner who says he knows who really killed Hamilton's foster mother. With Whitman's help, Hamilton was able to convince an up-and-coming attorney to work to overturn his conviction pro bono.