Michigan Resisting Compensating Victim of Wrongful Conviction Who Spent 45 Years In Prison

Richard Phillips was released from custody in 2017 and, in 2018, became the longest-serving U.S. prison inmate to win exoneration. He was cleared of a 1971 homicide after an investigation by the University of Michigan law students and the Wayne County prosecutor’s office. Even though Phillips could be eligible for more than $2 million under a Michigan law that compensates those wrongly convicted and imprisoned, but the state has been resisting compensating him. As a result, Phillips is being forced to sell some of the treasured paintings that he says helped him make it through the hell he was living.

“These are like my children,” Phillips said during a tour with The Associated Press. “But I don’t have any money. I don’t have a choice. Without this, I’d have a cup on the corner begging for nickels and dimes. I’m too old to get a job,” he said.

Phillips is showing more than 400 watercolors he painted while in prison and his work is being shown at an art gallery inside Level One Bank in Ferndale, a Detroit suburb. A reception was planned for Friday night. Read more…

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