Man exonerated after 45 years sells his prison art to get by

Man locked up for 45 years in Michigan is selling his prison paintings as he fights for compensation after being exonerated

ByED WHITE Associated Press
January 18, 2019, 11:41 AM
Richard Phillips
In this Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 photo, Richard Phillips stands next to some of his artwork during an interview at the Community Art Gallery in Ferndale, Mich. Phillips was exonerated of murder in 2018 after 45 years in prison. Lawyers say he should be entitled to more than $2 million under Michigan's wrongful conviction law, but the state so far is resisting. So Phillips, 73, is selling some of his 400-plus watercolors that he painted in prison. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
The Associated Press

FERNDALE, Mich. -- A Michigan man who was exonerated after 45 years in prison is trying to raise money by selling what kept him stable behind bars: his paintings.

Richard Phillips could be eligible for more than $2 million under a Michigan law that compensates the wrongly convicted, but the state so far is resisting. So he's displaying roughly 50 watercolors at a Detroit-area gallery and is willing to sell them.

There are landscapes, portraits of famous people, vases of flowers and musicians. The 73-year-old Phillips says he made more than 400 paintings while in prison.

Phillips was cleared last year of a 1971 homicide after an investigation by law students and the Wayne County prosecutor's office.

Phillips says his paintings are precious to him but he has no choice: He needs money.

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