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Open Mike Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Welcome to Open Mike, the podcast where Michigan’s leading attorney Mike Morse lays down the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when it comes to your rights, current events, and so much more. Hear exclusive interviews with superstar authors, leaders, activists, experts, and entrepreneurs telling it like it is. You’ll learn what insurance companies, the government, and other lawyers don’t want you to know — so you can go for the win in law, and in life!

Welcome to Open Mike, the podcast where Michigan’s leading attorney Mike Morse lays down the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when it comes to your rights, current events, and so much more. Hear exclusive interviews with superstar authors, leaders, activists, experts, and entrepreneurs telling it like it is. You’ll learn what insurance companies, the government, and other lawyers don’t want you to know — so you can go for the win in law, and in life!


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Welcome to Open Mike, the podcast where Michigan’s leading attorney Mike Morse lays down the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when it comes to your rights, current events, and so much more. Hear exclusive interviews with superstar authors, leaders, activists, experts, and entrepreneurs telling it like it is. You’ll learn what insurance companies, the government, and other lawyers don’t want you to know — so you can go for the win in law, and in life!




101- Celebrated investigative Journalist Exposes Deadly Corruption Within the Parole Board System

Robert Riggs is Peabody Award-winning journalist and digital media entrepreneur, widely regarded as one of the nation’s top investigative journalists. In his new podcast, Free to Kill, he exposes the rampant, deadly corruption that has come to poison many parole board systems across the country. In a disturbingly increasing trend, many parole boards let out vicious killers who go on to commit new crimes while refusing to parole the wrongfully convicted, simply because they do not admit to...


100 - Landmark 100th Episode Featuring an Exoneree Reunion & Bombshell Announcement from Mike

Open Mike has made it to triple-digits! On our landmark, 100th installment, Mike reunites with three former guest exonerees, Aaron Salter, Julie Baumer, and Kenny Wyniemko, as well as two journalists who have been blazing a path to illuminate the wrongful conviction crisis, Kevin Dietz and Bill Proctor. In this groundbreaking centenary episode, our guests reflect on their detestable experiences in the criminal justice system, update us on their current initiatives and whereabouts, and offer...


99 - Trailblazing Justice Reform Advocate Reflects on the Bleak Reality of Wrongful Convictions

For nearly two decades, Chris Mumma has served as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, having represented 8 exonorees and fighting for a half a dozen more still behind bars. During her impressive tenure, she has forced legislation on multiple issues regarding wrongful convictions and established the only innocence inquiry commission in the United States. Instrumental in fighting for criminal justice reform in North Carolina, Mumma has spearheaded...


98 - After His Innocent Brother Suddenly Died in Prison, This Man is Taking Justice Reform, Head-On

On December 2nd, 1999, Timothy Cole died of an asthma attack while in prison for a sexual assault he didn’t commit. Stunned by the injustice of the loss, his brother Cory vowed to clear his brother’s name and ensure such a tragedy never befall anyone else. His family, joined by the victim and the Texas Innocence Project, successfully overturned Tim’s conviction on February 6, 2009, becoming the state of Texas’s first posthumous exoneration. Today, Cory is the Vice President of the Texas...


97- Community Farming Project Helps Former Convicts Rebuild Their Lives and Flex Their Green Thumbs

What if you could nourish both the bodies and the souls of your fellow neighbors? We the People Opportunity Farm has accomplished just that for Washtenaw County and its inhabitants. The community farming project has sowed the seeds for its participants’ success by investing in the employment and development of formerly incarcerated men and women through farming and community engagement. Since its unofficial launch in 2017, the program has consistently expanded in both size and reach, selling...


96 - Local Comedian Hosts Star-Studded Virtual Comedy Shows to Benefit Restaurants Shuttered By COVID

The entire world has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but few industries have been hit as uniquely hard as the bar and restaurant sector. Recognizing the dire straits the industry faces, Michigan-born comedian Jason Douglas was compelled to help and launched Pay it Forward Comedy, a virtual standup series that distributes crowd-sourced funds to struggling restaurants and bars. The shows feature national headline acts from shows like Seinfeld and Breaking Bad donating their time and...


95 - Crack Usage, Misidentification and Fraud: How One Man Was Wrongfully Imprisoned for 21 Years

At age 17, Philadelphian Terrance Lewis found himself falsely accused of the 1996 murder of Hulon Howard, incriminated by the deceased’s girlfriend who was under the influence of crack cocaine at the time. After an excruciating two-year-long investigation, Lewis was ultimately convicted of murder and sent to prison. He would remain wrongfully incarcerated for the next twenty-one years, until a new defense team, groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling, and pragmatic Common Pleas Judge helped pave...


94 - Student Vigilante Group Uses Fake Social Media Accounts to Rid Cities of Child Predators

This week, Open Mike welcomes its first faceless guest! Meet Ghost, a mysterious vigilante who has launched Creep Catching Unit, an online movement dedicated toward keeping communities safe by exposing and reporting pedophiles. CC Unit operates independently of law enforcement to entrap and confront predators who believe they’re meeting up with children or young teens. They then post videos of the altercations online for the Internet to distribute and publicly shame — a pillory for the...


93 - We Didn't Start the Fire: Why Are so Many Innocent People Convicted on Faulty Arson Evidence?

Imran Syed is nationally recognized attorney, professor, and documentary film producer. As assistant director of Michigan’s Innocence Clinic, he and a coterie of supervised law students are at the forefront of criminal justice reform, investigating and litigating a wide variety of cases with special focus on forensic science-based innocence. Having litigated several arson wrongful convictions based on outdated science, Syed is an outspoken supporter of strategies needed to address obsolete...


92 - Juries Often Convict on Evidence — This Forensics Expert Asserts That Evidence Is Often Faulty

Show Notes [00:14] Kate Judson’s background and bio as Executive Director of the Center for Integrity in Forensic Sciences. [01:37] Welcome to the show! I’m so excited to talk to you – on Open Mike, we’ve never really focused on forensics. I’m reading a quote from you that says there have been 2,500 exonerations since 1989… is that right? [02:18] It feels like every single week there’s another exoneration, and it’s hard to believe the frequency. Are you tracking what percentage of these...


91-Fat Tuesday or Fat Booze Day? Detroit Distilleries Paczki Vodka Packs a Perfectly Flavorful Punch

Do you enjoy sugary, deep-fried treats? What about a nice, relaxing drink after a long day? Thanks to Detroit City Distillery’s palate-tickling paczki vodka, you can have both at the same time! In this intoxicating episode, distillery co-owner Michael Forsyth discusses how the concoction is steeped Detroit’s Polish heritage, explains the innovative pastry-to-vodka distilling process, and updates us on business progress throughout the pandemic. Bonus content— Mike and team conduct an...


90 - Who Is the Man You Seek to Become? This Mentorship Program Guides Teens on the Path to Manhood

Mike McCormick is a dedicated father, husband, and community leader committed to teaching developing male minds the essence of authentic masculinity. Our antiquated, social norms often compel men to resist vulnerability, withdraw, and insist everything is within their control, while larger questions of what it means to be a man go unanswered. Many men reach adulthood without the emotional skillset or sense of identity required to properly function in the world — they’re little kids trapped...


89 - Attorney Targets New Trial on 40-Year-Old Murder Case — Can Recent Evidence Free Her Client?

In 1980, Iowan man William Beeman was accused of murdering a woman named Michiel Winkel. However, Winkel was seen by several witnesses for days after the alleged time of her murder. Despite this testimony, Beeman has remained in prison for the last forty years. Enter Erica Nichols Cook, the Director Wrongful Conviction Division at the Iowa State Public Defender. Cook has spent the last several years attempting to get Beeman a new trial based on previous, possibly intentionally undisclosed...


88- Attorney & Reporter From Infamous Staircase Murder Mystery Share Stories From the Case

David Rudolf and Sonya Pfeiffer are spouses, attorneys at Rudolf Widenhouse law firm, and co-hosts of the popular podcast Abuse of Power. However, they may both be best known for their work on North Carolina vs. Peterson, a bizarre, 15-year-long case that was documented on the Netflix smash-hit, The Staircase. In this don’t-miss episode of Open Mike, Rudolf and Pfeiffer reflect on subjects omitted by the docuseries, including: the challenges of working on a highly publicized case with a...


87- Former Tonight Show Writer Has Given 5 TEDx Talks and Shares Tips on How to Get One of Your Own!

As a former writer for The Tonight Show, humor columnist, and podcast personality, Frank King is a natural comedian. However, similar to many comedians, he has battled depression and suicidal ideation his entire life, conditions that run in his family. Frank realized that his comedic skills provided him a casual platform through which he could reach and educate people on mental illness — when people are laughing, they’re learning. So, he drew upon his personal experiences with depression,...


86 - Jeffrey Deskovic: From Murder, Rape Conviction to Exoneree to Lawyer Who Frees the Innocent

At age seventeen, Jeffrey Deskovic was wrongfully sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a classmate. Authorities knew his DNA did not match that of the actual perpetrator – who would later murder another young woman and mother of two. Nevertheless, they colluded to convict and keep Jeff behind bars for the next 16 years. After his exoneration and release, Jeff successfully sued the responsible parties, and used a substantial portion of the compensation to start The Deskovic...


85 - From G.E.D to Law Degree. How a Former State Representative Turned His Troubled Life Around

Brian Banks is a highly sought-after community educator, author, law school graduate, and former Michigan State Representative. But despite his tremendous career, he has experienced an equally tremendous degree of hardship along the way, from a dysfunctional childhood, to an adolescence marred by fraud charges, to corrupt political forces ousting him from office. In this episode of Open Mike, Banks discusses his personal struggles in depth and reflects on ways they’ve endowed him with the...


84 - At 12 He Dealt Drugs, At 16 He Was Charged With Murder. Now He Advocates for Prison Reform

At the age of 16, Mario Bueno was convicted of second-degree murder and spent the next nineteen years in prison — three of which were in solitary confinement. Today, he is a reform expert, author, scholar, and co-founder of LUCK, Inc., an organization dedicated toward mentoring vulnerable populations within the Detroit Metropolitan Area. On this episode of Open Mike, Mario takes the reins and describes the effects prison had on his formative years, the spiritual awakenings he experienced...


83 - How the Bail Process Unfairly Puts the Poor in Prison

John S. Cooper is the executive director of Safe & Just Michigan, an organization that advances policies that end Michigan’s over-use of incarceration and promote community safety and healing. As currently constituted, Michigan’s criminal justice system prioritizes punishment, over public safety. Most policies emphasize being tough on crime instead of helping people get back on their feet. Check out the latest installment of Open Mike for John’s insights on how we can better advocate for the...


82 - These Top Legal Non-Profits Are Freeing the Innocent & Reforming the Criminal Justice System

Tricia Rojo Bushnell is the Executive Director of the Midwest Innocence Project, which works to free innocent people convicted of crimes they did not commit. Megan Crane is Co-Director at MacArthur Justice Center, an organization that fights cases to right individual wrongs, and confront racial and social inequality. Together, they have partnered to demand effective and sustainable reform of the criminal justice system. In this episode, they discuss encouraging, new trends in the judicial...