Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

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’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


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) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation