If your ex-spouse was wrongfully sentenced to prison and was then awarded millions of dollar, would you feel entitled to some of the compensation money?
This past weekend was a beauty in Detroit. It finally felt like summer. Today, we are discussing a topic that I hear about all too often. It is the tragedy of innocent people severing huge chucks of their life in prison for crimes they did not commit. This is the case of Steven Phillips and the outcome may surprise you.
It was the days of big hair and parachute pants – it was the 80s. For one innocent Texas man, Steven Phillips, the 80s would be the time where he lost his freedom. As he and his wife, Traci, were expecting their first child in 1982, his world fell apart. He was identified as a suspect in a string of sex crimes.
After two trials and facing a third, Phillips defense lawyer advised him to take a plea deal in a calculated move so that he would not risk spending his entire life in prison.
According to the Texas Tribune, that plea deal sent Steven Phillips to prison right after his son was born. The couple made it through 10 additional years of marriage, but they grew apart and divorced in 1992.
Twenty-four years later, DNA evidence proved that Phillips was innocent. In 2009, he was awarded 6 million dollars for the mistake. The justice system may have taken over 20 years of his life, but the state is now providing compensation that should have him set up for well for the rest of his life.
Enter the ex-wife then came back into the picture. Here is what YourTango.com reported,
In the wake of this awful windfall, the former Mrs. Phillips, now Traci Tucker, wanted her share of the pie. Her argument states that she was entitled to some of his missed wages while he was incarcerated. She was awarded $150K for the 10 years they remained married during his stint in the pokey.”
Phillips is fighting back and appealing the decision and his legal fees are escalating. He has another case of missing child support from another ex.
The Texas Tribune reports Traci Phillips as stating,
It’s not all about the money. There’s just no recognition whatsoever. Just ‘sorry folks, sorry we ruined your life and took your provider and your best friend.’ Nothing.”
A wrongful conviction is a tragic event for an entire family. Do you think that the ex-wife should get a portion of the restitution money?