In June of 1971, Gregory Harris from Detroit was shot to death. Harris’ brother-in-law claimed Richard Phillips and another man named Richard Polombo killed Gregory. In October 1972, Phillips was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, in 2010, Richard Polombo admitted he lied — Harris was correct about Polombo murdering Gregory Harris, but Richard Phillips was innocent. This week, Richard Phillips was finally released. He went to jail at 27 and was released at 72. A profile with CNN.com reports, “Phillips spent more years behind bars than any other wrongfully imprisoned person in America.”
Richard Phillips – a Michigan Innocence Clinic client – has been exonerated of a crime he didn't commit after spending 45 years in prison. He is the exoneree who has served the most time in prison. He is 76 years old. https://t.co/ZLQuoYkl9d
CNN.com also reports “Michigan adopted the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act in 2016, which grants $50,000 for every year that a person has been wrongfully imprisoned. This makes Phillips eligible to receive up to $2,250,000. Phillip’s attorney said she was “hopeful and very confident” that he would receive full compensation. However, exonerees are not allowed financial assistance from the state, which will be a struggle for Phillips — who will have to wait for the courts to compensate him for being wrongfully imprisoned.
Phillips told CNN, “I am not bitter. I was upset at first, but mistakes happen in this world. No life is perfect. Everybody has problems. It would be unimaginable for me to be upset because I had problems, because everybody has them.” He also said, “I have not seen my children in 45 years. I hope that they will see my story in the news and come find me.”
Dovey Johnson Roundtree, a courtroom warrior for civil rights who also challenged segregationist practices when she was in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, died at the age of 104. https://t.co/M4uG2vjk4e
Continue reading In Memoriam: Notable Deaths In 2018
In Memoriam: Notable Deaths In 2018
In 2018, we lost many treasured people in our community, from icons like Aretha Franklin to America's oldest World War II veteran Richard Overton to the untimely death of model Kim Porter.
See Also: Kim Porter’s Autopsy Results Revealed As Questions Linger In Model’s Death
As the year comes to a close, we say an official goodbye to the many we will miss. Rest in power.