Longest Wrongfully Imprisoned Man & Co-Plaintiffs Win Settlement

Cleveland - After spending nearly 40 years wrongly imprisoned, one of the longest incarcerations of any exoneree in U.S. history, Friday morning Rickey Jackson and his co-plaintiffs, Kwame Ajamu and Wiley Bridgeman, announced an $18 million settlement of their cases against the City of Cleveland and its police department.

This is the largest settlement ever in a civil rights case by the City of Cleveland or in the State of Ohio.

In 1975 at the age of 18, Jackson began serving prison time which stretched into virtually his entire adult lifetime. Cleveland police allegedly withheld and destroyed exculpatory evidence, fabricated evidence, and coerced a 12-year-old boy into falsely accusing Jackson for murder. 

The suit alleged that Cleveland police withheld crucial exculpatory evidence from both defense and prosecution attorneys, and physically attacked Jackson in an unsuccessful attempt to get him to falsely confess to the crimes.

During his imprisonment, Jackson lost his mother, father, stepfather, and other loved ones during his wrongful incarceration. In addition, he suffered physical injuries and assaults in jail.

“What happened to me should not have happened to anyone and I was ready to hold Cleveland accountable for their actions at a public trial. However, I am very pleased with this result and the fact that this terrible chapter of my life is finally closed," said Jackson of the result.

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