DETROIT, Michigan-A man who spent 45 years in prison before he was acquitted of murder, will receive $ 1.5 million from the state, the attorney general’s office said Friday.
Richard Phillips, 73, was acquitted in 2018, becoming the longest-serving US prisoner to be cleared. He is selling his prison paintings to raise money while waiting to see if he would be reimbursed, under a Michigan law that pays the wrongly convicted.
“We have a commitment to providing compassion, compensation of these men for the damage which they have suffered,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement.
Her office is agreed to pay $780,000 to Neal Redick, who is almost 16 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct in Genesee County. The complainant recanted, and the conviction was tossed in 2007.
Ray McCann will receive $40,000. He served 20 months in prison and the prison after feeling pressured to plead no contest to perjury in a murder investigation in the St. Joseph County. The conviction was thrown out in 2017, two years after another man confessed to the murder.
Michigan lawmakers still need to make more money in the fund.
Phillips had long declared his innocence in a fatal shooting in the Detroit area in 1971. The Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan law school learned that a co-defendant in 2010, told the parole board that Phillips had absolutely no role.
Someone who is acquitted on the basis of new evidence may also be eligible for the $50,000 per year spent in prison. Phillips would appear to be eligible for more than $2 million, based on the 45 years behind bars. But he is only paid in for 30 years, because he served a separate armed robbery conviction at the same time.
Phillips and his legal team said he was wrongfully convicted for a crime, also, but in Oakland County prosecutors will not have him.
“The attorney general’s office made a decision to pay him every penny that he currently owed. I am very happy with how the things have changed,” said Phillips’ lawyer, Gabi Silver.
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