Richard Phillips | Michigan Radio
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Richard Phillips

Richard Phillips (left) and David Moran (right)
Cynthia Canty / Michigan Radio

 

Here is a story of murder, of injustice that took decades to correct, and of forgiveness.

Imagine yourself going about your life, when, suddenly, you're accused of murder. And nobody believes you when you say, "I didn't do it!" 

You're convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

After spending 45 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit, Richard Phillips walked out of court officially a free man Wednesday.

Phillips was convicted of the 1971 murder of Gregory Harris in Detroit, but always maintained his innocence. He tried to appeal his conviction several times with no success, including a 1997 appeal that languished in the courts.

Richard Phillips with attorney Gabi Silver just after his release.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Richard Phillips spent 45 years in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit. But on Thursday, he emerged a free man--at least for the time being.