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

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.