Wrongfully convicted: October 5, 1972
Exonerated: March 28, 2018
Richard Phillips was convicted of murder in 1972 and exonerated in March 2018. He served over 45 years in prison—the longest time anyone has ever served before being exonerated.
The exoneration was based in large part on the confession of a co-defendant, who, after decades of maintaining his own innocence, finally confessed to the crime and made clear that Richard was not involved.
The circuit court judge held an evidentiary hearing and vacated the conviction in 2017. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Conviction Integrity Unit then reviewed the case, and the prosecution dismissed all charges in March 2018.
More details available at:
- The National Registry of Exonerations: Richard Phillips
- CNN: "This man spent more years behind bars than any other wrongfully imprisoned person in America"
- The Daily Mail: "Father-of-two exonerated after serving 45 YEARS for a murder he did not commit"
- Michigan Radio: "After 45 years behind bars for murder, Richard Phillips is finally, officially exonerated"