GENERIC:Gavel

The state of Michigan has agreed to pay $1.5 million to a man who spent 45 years in prison for murder before he was exonerated.

The attorney general's office said Friday it has settled a lawsuit filed by 73-year-old Richard Phillips. He made a claim under a Michigan law that compensates the wrongly convicted.

Lawmakers still will need to put money into the fund.

Phillips was released from custody in 2017. He was exonerated months later in 2018, becoming the longest-serving U.S. inmate to be cleared. An investigation by University of Michigan law students and the Wayne County prosecutor's office showed he wasn't involved in a 1971 homicide.

Phillips has been selling his paintings to raise money.

The state also has agreed to pay $780,000 to a man who spent nearly 16 years in prison and $40,000 to another man.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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