Phillip Shaw Released After EJI Wins Relief from Death In Prison Sentence


Phillip Shaw is a free man today. He was released from prison in Missouri after his conviction and sentence to life imprisonment without parole — for an offense at age 14 — were overturned.

Phillip was sentenced to die in prison for a robbery-shooting that took place when he was 14 years old. He is now 28. He has spent most of the last 14 years in an adult prison.

Last year, EJI launched a national project to challenge death-in-prison sentences imposed on young adolescents. EJI identified Phillip as one of 73 people nationwide sentenced to die in prison for offenses at age 13 or 14.

As part of our project, EJI agreed to represent Phillip and recently won him a new trial in federal court.

The State of Missouri agreed not to retry Phillip in exchange for time served. Phillip is the first of EJI’s clients sentenced to death in prison for crimes at age 14 to win his freedom.