It seems now almost every week we’re faced with news of an inmate being exonerated. Sometimes the wrongfully convicted person is awarded a cash settlement as payment for having wasted their most precious years in prison.
Now one innocent ex-convict is suing the police officers involved in his case for framing him.
Ricky Jackson, 58, spent nearly 40 years in prison after being convicted on the word of a seventh grade boy who later retracted his statement.
In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday against the city of Cleveland, Jackson accuses eight police officers and their supervisors of framing him and his brothers–Wiley and Ronnie Bridgeman–in the slaying of salesman Harold Franks.
“This lawsuit seeks compensation for that grievous injustice,” attorney Jon Loevy said in the statement. “We now know substantially more about the fallibility of eyewitness identifications. Too many people have been sent to prison wrongfully based on bogus identifications.”
Eddie Vernon, who was 12 at the time, was told by a friend that “Ricky”, “Buddy”, and “Bitsey” were responsible for the murder, but had not witnessed the incident. He was questioned without a parent or guardian present.
“The defendants told Eddie that he was lying and threatened to put his mother and father in jail if he backed out. Eddie was scared, did not understand what was happening, and began to cry. Eddie’s mother was sick at that time, and the prospect of her going to jail was very scary to him as a 12-year-old boy,” the lawsuit states.
Vernon later admitted that he had not seen the crime being committed since he was on a school bus at the time.
Jackson was awarded $1 million dollars in March.
In a similar case, a prosecutor apologized for putting an innocent man on death row, claiming that he was more interested in winning the case than pursuing justice. According to April V. Taylor, writing for KultureKritic.com:
A.M. “Marty” Stroud III was the lead prosecutor in the December 1984 murder trial of Glen Ford, and now, after Ford spent thirty years on death row in Angola, one of the worst prisons in the country, Stroud is apologizing for admittedly pursuing victory over justice. Stroud’s apology came in a three page letter as a response to a Shreveport Times editorial calling for the state of Louisiana to compensate Ford for his time behind bars. The state is now fighting the compensation, saying that Ford cannot prove that he is factually innocent of the murder.
With all of the cases being revealed to show citizens who’ve been falsely accused, should there be a wide-scale overhaul of the criminal justice system?
Source: Your Black World