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Sarah Elaine Hunter

1957 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Sarah Elaine Hunter Obituary

Sarah Elaine 1957-2017, age 60, died on May 6, at her home in Washington, D.C. Sarah was an accomplished criminal defense attorney who devoted her life to ensuring the rights of prisoners, especially the wrongly convicted. She was formerly a prehearing attorney at the Michigan Court of Appeals and later was in private practice. She defended hundreds of prisoners and won a pivotal case in Detroit, in which she won exoneration for a prisoner wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison who was freed after 20 years of incarceration. She was passionate about the rights of prisoners and had recently begun a blog advocating for reform of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

Sarah was born in Bellaire, Ohio, and spent her childhood there and in Fairmont, WV. She graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pa., St. Louis University, and received her J.D. degree from the University of Detroit, Mercy. Her marriage to Joel Applebaum in 1989 ended in divorce.  She had lived in Washington, D.C., and Martinsburg, W.Va., since 2006. In Washington, she worked as a freelance editor for international finance institutions and as a consultant on habeas corpus cases for incarcerated people throughout the United States.  She is survived by her daughter, Rachel Elizabeth Applebaum, her son David Applebaum of Birmingham, MI., her sisters, Leslie Hunter of Washington, DC  and Amy Hunter of Pleasant Ridge, MI., and her nephew, Adam Hunter of Detroit. She was the daughter of the late Murray Hunter and the late Isabel M. Hunter. She was an avid mountain biker and was devoted to animals, especially her five cats. Her family will hold a private service. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Beyond Blue or the Innocence Project would be appreciated.

Published in Detroit Free Press & The Detroit News on May 16, 2017
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