No amount of restitution can make up for the wrong done Kwame Ajamu, his reputation and more importantly, his entire life.
After serving almost 30 years in prison for murder, a crime he denied; a US court on Tuesday cleared all charges against Kwame Ajamu, now 57 and out on parole since 2003.
The Court room was full of the expression of emotions with Ajamu saying “ I’m so happy today that this battle had come to an end.” Cuyahoga County Judge Pamela Barker also stepped down from her bench to give Ajamu a hug, the Associated Press reports.
In 1975, two people attacked Harold Franks with acid, and one of the people shot him. A third person drove a getaway car. A 12-year-old boy, Eddie Vernon, served as the state’s main witness in the case, and a jury convicted Bridgeman (as he was known at the time), along with his brother Wiley Bridgeman, then 20, and Ricky Jackson, 19.
The above three people received death sentences, but their sentences were later commuted. Kwame Ajamu was released on parole in 2003 after serving 27 years.
According to the WashingtonPost “a 2011 magazine story delving into what happened on that day in 1975 prompted a new look at the case. Ohio Innocence Project lawyers came to represent the defendants.”
“Last month, Vernon [who was the key witness] recanted his testimony, saying he was just a boy who wanted to help police and that he didn’t actually see the crime. Instead, he revealed, he was on a bus. In the 1970s, Vernon said, he had provided the names and authorities fed him the other details.
“I’m thinking, ‘I’m doing the right thing,’ ” Vernon testified last month. “I told the officer, ‘I know who did it.’ “
Today, Kwame Ajamu is a free man—but his entire life has been wasted!