Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

County Prosecutors Office Clears Way for Three Recently Exonerated Men to Pursue Civil Process After Wrongful Incarceration

Posted By on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Though Kwame Ajamu was paroled back in 2003, it wasn't until yesterday that he became a free man in the true sense.

He'd had the murder conviction dating back to 1975 hanging around his head for a crime that he, his brother Wiley Bridgeman and their friend Ricky Jackson didn't commit. Ajamu was just 17 years old at the time.

On November 21, Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgeman walked free as the state dropped its opposition to Jackson's motion for a new trial after a two-day hearing prompted by a key eye-witness, who was only 12 years old at the time of the crime, recanting his testimony. He had been coerced by police in various ways decades ago and pressured to point the finger at the trio, as Scene explained in a lengthy investigation in 2011.

Bridgeman and Jackson had been in jail for over 39 years. Ajamu had been out for over a decade. And yesterday, Ajamu appeared before Judge Pamela Barker to formally be cleared of that conviction.

And yesterday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty gave the trio more good news, absolving all three of the crime and noting that his office would not oppose their efforts to seek restitution from the state of Ohio. The state doles out about $40,000 for every year of wrongful imprisonment, but that process only goes smoothly if prosecutors don't oppose their efforts. Many times, that's not the case. In addition, there may be a civil lawsuit seeking additional damages.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation