Brothers Who Spent Decades Behind Bars For A Crime They Didn’t Commit Get Initial Payment Of $1.6 million


WEWS NewsChannel5

A judge ruled Friday that two brothers wrongly convicted for a 1975 slaying they didn’t commit will receive $1.6 million in an initial payment for the decades they spent in Ohio prisons.

Judge Patrick McGrath of the Ohio Court of Claims said that Wiley Bridgeman – 60 – will get a check for $969,093, and his brother, Kwame Ajamu, 57, will be given $647,578.  Ajamu previously changed his name from Ronnie Bridgeman.

“I’m very glad this is headed toward the end of the process,” Ajamu told The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.  “But this was never about financial gain. It was about getting my brother out and getting Ricky Jackson out.”

Bridgeman was released Nov. 21, more than 39 years after he had been locked up. Ajamu was released from prison in 2003.  Bridgemand and Ajamu, along with friend Ricky Jackson, were all convicted of murdering a man near University Circle in Cleveland in 1975.

More:

http://fox8.com/2014/11/20/we-are-free-wrongly-convicted-man-to-join-friend-who-also-spent-decades-behind-bars/

America’s Longest-Serving Innocent Prisoner Receives $1 Million For 39 Years In Jail

An Ohio man who spent 39 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit will receive more than $1 million in compensation from the state of Ohio for his wrongful imprisonment, states The Telegraph.

Ricky Jackson, who was only saved from execution by a paperwork error, served the longest known sentence of any American who was subsequently found to have been wrongfully convicted.

“Wow, wow, wow, that’s fantastic, man,” Mr Jackson, 58, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper when he was told that he would receive the million-dollar payment following an order from the Ohio court of claims.

“This is going to mean so much.”

Jackson was 19 when he and two friends were sentenced to death row in 1975 for the murder of Harold Franks, a money order salesman, near a corner store in Cleveland.

He and the two brothers were convicted on the basis of the testimony of a 13-year-old boy who said that he witnessed the killing of Franks.

The boy, Eddie Vernon, was on a school bus a block away with other children at the time.

He later recanted his account as an adult.   However, no other witnesses placed him at the scene at the time of the murder and there was no other evidence linking him to the killing, states The Telegraph.  He was originally sentenced to die, but appeals and mistakes in the paperwork delayed the process.