A Detroit-area man whose murder conviction was thrown out after he spent 45 years in prison was exonerated Wednesday and won’t face a second trial.

Richards Philips 71, was upbeat, saying the criminal justice system “works — it just didn’t work fast enough.”

A judge granted a request to permanently drop the case against phillips, whose conviction was erased last year. Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said a new investigation by her office backed his claim that he had no role in a 1971 fatal shooting.Eear

“There’s nothing I can say to bring back 40 years of his life,” Worthy said. “The system failed him. This is a true exoneration.”

“I’ve never carried bitterness around, so I’m not a bitter man,” Phillips told reporters when asked about his decades in prison.

“You have seen the worst and best of the criminal justice system,” Judge Kevin Cox told Phillips.

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