Nessel approves compensation to wrongfully convicted men

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LANSING, MI (WILX) - Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel approves $2.32 million in compensation awards to three wrongfully convicted men.

The three men spent time in Michigan prisons for crimes they did not commit.

The Attorney General's office says the compensation awards were approved by Nessel after a careful review and evaluation.

The compensation claims were filed under the state's Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act (WICA).

"Conceding that no system is perfect, the government's public recognition and overturning of the convictions of these men helps to foster a healing process, and assures Michiganders that the government, regardless of fault, will take ownership of its errors," Nessel said. "Reentering society is profoundly difficult for wrongfully convicted individuals and we have an obligation to provide compassionate compensation to these men for the harm they suffered. I'm proud our office was able to play a part in ensuring justice was served."

The largest compensation award of more than $1.5 million will go to Richard Phillips, whose case was the first to result in an exoneration by Wayne County's Conviction Integrity Unit.

The case was brought to Wayne County's attention by the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic.

Neal Redick will receive a WICA compensation award of more than $780,000.

Redick was convicted of criminal sexual assaults against a minor in the early 1990s.

Redick served just under 16 years in prison before charges against him were dismissed by the Genesee County Circuit Court in November 2007 after the now-adult complainant, recanted his claim that Redick sexually abused him.

The Genesee County Circuit Court dismissed the case against Redick and ordered he be discharged from custody.

Raymond McCann will receive a WICA compensation award of approximately $40,000.

McCann, a reserve police officer, was originally charged with five counts of perjury arising out of the investigation of a 2007 murder case.

New surveillance footage evidence proved him innocent of the charges and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor dismissed the one remaining perjury charge in December 2017.

Under the WICA, a plaintiff is entitled to judgment if he can show the following:

1) new evidence demonstrates that the plaintiff did not perpetrate the crime and was not an accomplice or accessory;

2) the new evidence results in the reversal or vacation of the charges; and

3) the new evidence results in either the dismissal of all charges or a finding of not guilty on all charges on retrial.

The amount of WICA compensation is calculated based on $50,000 for each year from the date the plaintiff was imprisoned until the date the plaintiff was released from prison.

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