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Donors helping Flint native Michael Thompson buy home after 25 years in prison

Supporters raised $265,000 to provide Michigan’s longest serving non-violent offender a new life
Governor Gretchen Whitmer commuted Thompson's prison sentence in December.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer commuted Thompson's prison sentence in December.(Courtesy of Rashawnda Littles)
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 12:05 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A Flint man who was released from prison after nearly 25 years plans to buy a house after his supporters raised more than $265,000.

Michael Thompson plans to settle in Genesee County near his family. The 69-year-old says he’s very thankful.

Thompson was released from prison last week after his sentence was reduced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Thompson was convicted of drug and gun crimes and wouldn’t have been eligible for parole until 2038.

Thompson was sentenced to more than 60 years in prison in the 1990s for five drug and weapons felonies. He was considered the longest incarcerated non-violent offender in the Michigan Department of Corrections when Whitmer shortened his sentence.

Last year, calls for Thompson’s early release gained national attention with celebrities and the Last Prisoner Project, even Michigan’s Attorney General and Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton joining the push. Leyton pointed out that Thompson’s 40 to 60 year prison sentence exceeds what people convicted of second-degree murder often get.

Whitmer says Thompson had accepted responsibility and was serving an excessive sentence.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.