Deliberate Injustice - Excerpts
Chapter 1 — The Crimes
In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 30, 1994, a very tall and overweight white man broke into a woman's apartment in Clinton Township, Michigan, and savagely raped her over a three-hour period. The victim endured every imaginable indignity. She was bound to the bedposts. She was blindfolded. She was raped vaginally and anally, and forced to perform oral sex. She feared for her life, unsure she was going to survive the horrific ordeal.
In July, 1994, the Clinton Township Police Department, acting on an anonymous phone call that had been ignored for over two months, considered the possibility that the perpetrator of the rape was Kenny Wyniemko. This despite the fact that Kenny was much smaller in stature and had none of the other physical characteristics of the assailant as described by the victim.
On July 15, 1994, Kenny was arrested and charged.
On November 2, 1994, the victim sat in a Macomb County, Michigan, courtroom and identified her attacker. She testified it was Ken Wyniemko.
On November 9, 1994, Kenny was convicted of 17 felony counts, including 15 counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree.
On December 15, 1994, he was sentenced to 40 to 60 years. It was a death sentence for a 43-year-old.
Make no mistake. There were two crimes committed.
An innocent woman was savagely violated in a most inhumane manner.
And the Clinton Township Police Department conspired to convict an innocent man. That innocent man was Kenny Wyniemko.
Chapter 4 – Incarceration
"You never feel safe in prison. You never know what's gonna happen. You don't know if you're going to be beat up or if you're gonna be stabbed. There are people in prison who'd kill you for a candy bar." - Kenny Wyniemko
Jackson State Prison – Jackson, Michigan
Jackson State Prison is a maximum security prison with ten-foot high cement walls and gun turrets at every turn. Until its closing in 2007, it was the largest walled prison in the world, peaking with 6,000 prisoners. It was a Security Level 4 facility that housed some very dangerous criminals.
In the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) prison system, Security Level 1 is lowest level of security for prisoners. Level 6 is for maximum security inmates. Kenny went into Jackson as a Level 4.
It was a little over a month after Kenny's sentencing when he was transferred from the Macomb County Jail to Jackson. On December 27, 1994, Kenny Wyniemko stepped off the bus into Hell. Because of the horrific rape, Kenny was considered a dangerous offender. And Jackson State Prison was reserved for men like Kenny Wyniemko.
KENNY'S thoughts: I can remember the day I was shipped to Jackson. A guard came to my cell at Macomb County and said, “Wyniemko, let’s go. Now! Time for you to go.”
They put me in a bullpen with like 20 other guys where we waited for hours. They were taking us to various prisons.
I called my mom and told her, “Mom, you know I’m leaving." She broke down and started crying. I felt so bad for her.
Then my dad got on the phone and he’s crying, too. I told him, “Just stay strong. I will protect myself. This will be okay. I'll figure this out.”
When I hung up, I started to cry myself.
It was December 27, 1994. I will never forget it. Just two days after Christmas.
I was transported to Jackson in a large van. There were six of us shackled together by ankle and waist chains. When we got in the van, we were shackled to the seats.
When I arrived at Jackson, we were led through this single metal door into Quarantine, or 7-Block. The guards directed us to a cell on the right where they took off our shackles and told us to strip. We just sat there naked. It was filthy and we were just sitting around there like that.
We were taken one at a time into another dirty room for our shower. The water was so cold. All the time these guards were screaming out orders and grinning at us. After I toweled dry, they sprayed me with this white disinfectant powder. Parading us around like that. Yelling at us at every turn. It's their way to break you down from the beginning.
We went to this counter where other inmates handed out our prison clothes. We were given three sets of blues, a pair of cheap vinyl shoes, three pair of underwear, three tee shirts, and three pair of sox. I was led into another room where they finally let me dress.
After a little while, we walked, one-by-one, down the hall to get our picture taken for our prison ID. This is where you get your prisoner number. My number was A240889. The 'A' meant I was a first time offender. After every conviction, the letter went up. There were guys with an 'F' meaning they were six-time offenders.
I was then taken to this big prison block. I talked about this on Mitch Albom’s radio show where I was walking down this ramp and, man, I’m scared to death. The ramp opened to the cell block with five floors of one-man cells with iron bars all along the outer edges of the cell block. It was scary as hell…
Then they put me on the top floor, 41-4 was my first cell number.
I have never been so afraid or felt so degraded in my life. But that's how it is in jail. They try to break you down in every imaginable way.
The first night was the toughest. They locked my cell door and I just sat on my bunk and cried. In my mind, there was no way I could survive 40 years. I wanted to end it all so badly. I figured there was no reason for me to live. And I honestly thought of hanging myself. I remember tearing up my bedsheet into strips…
I was crying. I had thoughts of suicide. And I remember getting down on my knees and asking the good Lord to show me the way. A calm came over me. And I believe the good Lord touched my shoulder and told me, "Kenny, you're going to be just fine." My faith got me through the worst of times.