On Friday evening, Sept. 28, we drove through the rain to Ann Arbor to attend a celebration at U of M Law School for two recent Clinic exonerees, Raymond McCann, II and Richard Phillips.
There were easily a hundred people in the grand room at South Hall: the honorees, their families, lawyers, a large contingent of law students, Bill Proctor, founder of Proving Innocence, many friends, and other exonerees.
After a hearty buffet dinner, with wine and beer for the asking, all gathered around as Imran Syed announced the introduction of the honored guests. The previous exonerees present were introduced: Julie Baumer, David Gavitt, Lamarr Monson, Deshawn Reed, Desmond Ricks, Aaron Salter, Larry Souter, Lorinda Swain, and Ken Wyniemko.
Dave Moran then described the cases of Ray McCann and Richard Phillips. Ray had also been represented by the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Law School; staff attorney Greg Swygert had come from Chicago to begin describing Ray’s case. It was one of the worst cases of police tunnel vision and manipulation that I’ve heard of. You can read about it in detail on the NRE website. Richard Phillips has the sad distinction of having served more time in prison than any known exoneree – 46 years. Both Ray and Richard thanked all present, and Richard worked the crowd like a celebrity – which he is!
Marvin and Greta Zalman