Working to Right Injustice
By Yanice Jackson-Long
Mr. Amadeo was born and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He attended the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a major in Communications where he participated on the Debate Team as the Captain. William moved to Michigan to attend law school at Thomas M. Cooley, where he graduated in 2008. While attaining his legal education, He served as a Teacher’s Assistant and later a full-time journalist for the Innocence Project. He has worked for several law firms, including his own before joining McManus and Amadeo in 2017. His passion for learning lead him to start BAT Tutoring, a bar prep and tutoring service.
Amedeo is recognized as one of the top criminal defense attorneys within the state of Michigan. What stands out even more, is his passion to fight against injustice. William keeps a roster of Pro-Bono cases to serve those who have been victims of foul play within the justice system. A major case where William and his associates influenced things for the better is in the case of Darian Smith-Blackmon. Darian is a severely mentally ill teen who was discharged from jail to a local emergency room after being ruled incompetent to stand trial for murder. He was discharged was discharged to a state-run psychiatric hospital after 45 days of shuffling and uncertainty. Darian is an autistic, severely mentally ill 19-year-old shuffled between hospital emergency rooms and uncertain placement between psychiatric facilities and adult foster care homes. There was also trouble attending to Darian’s prescribed medication schedule, and basic hygienic needs shortly after the arrest. It took roughly 3 months to get Darian the proper medication It was clear Darian was thrown in a jail due to the lack of training and uncertainty of dealing with a mentally ill teenager. Amedeo represents Darian and says, "Darian was ruled incompetent and the process should not take this long, there’s certainly a problem here that needs to be corrected."
The Outlook Post 2020 Quarantine
Since the onslaught of COVID-19 in the Michigan William had a chance to take an inventory of some of the positive things resulting from the Pandemic. He feels as though he has had more time to pay action to detail since he spends less time traveling (Zoom Meetings/Virtual Meetings etc.) He also feels there has been more teamwork between prosecutors and defense lawyers. Good things- More teamwork between prosecutors and defense lawyers. Amedeo says “This is a time to bring people together. There is much danger in conducting business as usual (pre-COVID-19) Negative things are easier to point so we should focus more on teamwork and accountability. Since we are not able to focus on law enforcement as we know it, teamwork and accountability has improved. Everyone is on a stage.”
As a result of the pandemic William vows to work seven days a week until he is caught up. He says he has no time for vacationing and days off now, and he will continue focus on working cohesively with those who are able to help improve the justice system as we know it.