‘Phillips pleaded guilty because,

by Jason Lee Steorts

he said later, his attorney told him that as a black man who had been accused of raping a white teenager, he should try to avoid a jury trial.” That was in Dallas in 1990. Michael Phillips was exonerated this week after DNA testing demonstrated his innocence. He spent twelve years in prison, and was jailed for another six months after his release because he had not registered as a sex offender. At that time, “he mentioned DNA testing in petitions that were denied.” He was not aware of the recent testing until the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Dallas district attorney’s office informed him of it. The unit was established “to review and investigate claims of innocence and other old cases.” Washington Post story (whence all quotations) here.