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Detroit Legal Blog

Richard Phillips Granted New Trial After 45 Years in Prison

Jan 31, 2018, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense, Legal Blog
Corridor in a prison

Richard Phillips was handed a life sentence for murder in 1971, but in December of 2017, he walked out of prison as a free man who is prepared to face a new trial where he will work to clear his name for good. If you have been arrested or imprisoned for a crime you did not commit, it may seem impossible to be granted a new trial. However, a knowledgeable lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process that might be necessary to defeat serious criminal charges.

To speak with an experienced Detroit area criminal defense lawyer about your case and the possibility of receiving a new trial, contact at Davis Law Group at (313) 818-3238 for a free consultation regarding your case.

The Richard Phillips Case Shows Common Failures Of The Criminal Justice System

After the murder of a man named Gregory Harris in 1971, the police and state attorney’s office interviewed a number of suspects and potential witnesses. The victim’s brother-in-law told authorities that Phillips and co-defendant Richard Palombo were responsible for the killing, and they later received guilty verdicts and life sentences in court. However, for several years it has been known that Palombo has been claiming that Phillips did not take part in the killing, and that Palombo did not even know who Richard Phillips even was until after the death of Gregory Harris.

The new trial has been granted to Richard Phillips due to the court’s error to properly make Palombo’s testimony available for Phillips’ defense. This is a situation where the court made a mistake. The fact finders in the trial 45 years ago did not have sufficient evidence to consider regarding what took place in Harris’ killing. These mistakes are avoidable, but unfortunately they happen more often than one would think. They can cost you your rights to due process and to a fair trial. As in the case of Richard Phillips, there are a number of reasons why the proper evidence may not find itself at your trial:

  • The police may have negligently or maliciously not searched properly for evidence or testimony in your case
  • You may not have had the means to hire a competent legal team at the time
  • The state attorney improperly withheld evidence about your case

There Are Many Reasons Why You Can Be Granted A New Trial

If you are being prosecuted for a serious crime, you will need a fair trial in order to have the chance to prove your innocence. There are many things that can go wrong and rob you of your freedom, and you will need a skilled and aggressive defense lawyer to make sure that all of your rights are protected. In addition to receiving a fair trial, it’s very common for new evidence to come to light which can help prove that a person who was convicted of a crime was actually innocent.

Of the many reasons why you may be able to successfully receive a new trial include:

  • Your previous attorney was incompetent.
  • The jury in your previous trial was unfairly biased against you.
  • New evidence has been brought to light.
  • Your previous trial was not conducted properly.
  • Police or a member of the prosecution lied or deliberately withheld valuable evidence.

Davis Law Group Can Help You

The entire trial process can be complex and overwhelming, and seeking a new trial may be necessary in order to protect your rights when your freedom is on the line. Davis Law Group understands how new trials can be granted in Michigan, and we have years of courtroom experience that can help you stay out of jail and clear your name. If you or a loved one need a skilled Detroit criminal defense lawyer for your case, do not hesitate to speak with us.

Contact us today at (313) 818-3238 for a free, initial case consultation today.