A man who the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) at the University of Cincinnati College of Law helped free after serving 39 years in prison for a crime he did not commit will split a combined $18 million settlement from the city of Cleveland along with two other men wrongfully convicted in connection with a 1975 murder.
Rickey Jackson, Wiley Bridgeman and his brother Kwame Ajamu reached the settlement earlier this month during a mediation held in U.S. District Court, reports Cleveland.com. Under the terms, Jackson, who was exonerated in 2014 after attorneys, faculty and students at the OIP took on his case, will receive 40 percent, or $7.2 million, and Bridgeman and Ajamu will split the rest.
Jackson, who entered prison at the age of 18 after being convicted of murder during a robbery, served 39 years in prison—at the time, the longest prison term for an exonerated defendant in American history. His conviction was based on the state’s key witness, a 12-year-old boy who four decades later recanted his story, explaining that police intimidated him into testifying.
The settlement is the largest reached in the state of Ohio in a police misconduct case, reports Cleveland.com.
Jackson’s lawyer Elizabeth Wang said in an interview that Jackson, who is now married and has a child on the way, is looking forward to the future.
“What is 39 years of your life worth?” Wang said. “Nobody can put a number on that. No amount of money that can compensate them for what they went through.”
Read the full story here: Cleveland to pay $18 million to trio who spent decades in prison for wrongful 1975 murder convictions
Other media coverage:
The Moguldom Nation: Cleveland To Pay $18M To Trio Who Spent Decades In Prison For 1975 Wrongful Murder Convictions
The grio: Ohio men awarded $18M after serving years in prison over deadly robbery