Rape

DNA Exonerates Dallas Man Who Served 12 Years in Prison for Rape

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A Dallas man who served 12 years in prison for a rape conviction will have the crime erased from record. It turns out he wasn't guilty after all.

Michael Phillips, 57, will be the 34th person to be exonerated by the Dallas DA's Conviction Integrity Unit. However, there is a twist to his story. Phillips did not ask to be exonerated. His exoneration will come thanks to luck of the draw.

Phillips was sentenced to prison in 1990, after he pleaded guilty to the rape of a 16-year-old girl. Phillips says his attorney advised him to plead guilty rather than go to trial, suggesting a jury would not believe a black man accused of raping a white girl, who had identified him in a photo lineup.

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  1. Assuming Mr. Phillips had an otherwise clean criminal record, the true test of “?will have the crime erased from record.” will be his filling out an ATF form 4473 and it being approved.

    I’ll bet it will be rejected.

  2. Phillips says his attorney advised him to plead guilty rather than go to trial, suggesting a jury would not believe a black man accused of raping a white girl, who had identified him in a photo lineup.

    I wonder if his attorney didn’t want to go to trial simply because he ALSO believed Phillips was guilty.

    That said, this is a tough situation. It must be absolutely maddening to know you didn’t do something — especially something as heinous as rape — when the victim fingers you. He had to go through 12 years of what must have been absolute hell in prison and have that conviction follow him around for another 12 years (his qualify-of-life I’m sure has been miserable). Being exonerated will not bring those 24 years of his life back.

  3. At 57 years old, with 12 years in prison for I crime I didn’t commit, a few million dollars MIGHT convince me not to hunt down everyone involved.

  4. Give the proliferation of false rape accusation, the wreckage it makes of the accused’s life, the fact that it is a non-equal law in most states, and the push to lower the standard of proof, I’d say make it so no rape conviction can be issued without DNA. To those who object I say, “You broke the system, you bought it.”

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