Richard Phillips

Wrongfully convicted: October 5, 1972
Exonerated: March 28, 2018
Wayne County

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.

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