This summer, a Dallas court recommend that Steven Phillips’ name be cleared, more than 25 years after he was wrongfully convicted of a string of sex crimes he didn’t commit. Today, Texas’ highest criminal court officially exonerated him.
DNA testing and an extensive investigation by the Innocence Project proved that Phillips did not commit any of the ten sexual assaults he was convicted of in 1982 and 1983. But Phillips has been waiting in legal limbo for today’s decision by the Court of Criminal Appeals, which officially exonerated him by granting writs of habeas corpus in overturning wrongful convictions in several cases.
Phillips is the 221st person exonerated by DNA testing nationwide, and the 16th officially exonerated in Dallas. Five more men in Dallas have been proven innocent by DNA testing, but they are awaiting further legal action before their exonerations are official. With 21 people cleared by DNA, Dallas has seen more exonerations than any other county in the U.S. since 2001.