State of Conviction: Ohio
Race: African American
Wrongful Conviction: Murder, Robbery
Exonerated Date: 2014
Years Served: 28
Kwame Ajamu was a teenager when he was sentenced to death in 1975 for murder-robbery. No physical evidence linked him or his co-defendants, brother Wiley Bridgeman and friend Ricky Jackson, to the crime. None of them had any prior criminal record and defense witnesses provided all three with credible alibis. Nevertheless, they were sentenced to death. The sole evidence against them was the false, coerced eyewitness testimony of a 13-year-old boy named Eddie Vernon, who 36 years later, admitted that he had lied to the police. When he tried to back out of the lie, the police told him that it was too late to change his story. In January 2003, Kwame Ajamu was released from prison on parole. 39 years later on December 9, 2014, Kwame Ajamu’s conviction was vacated and the prosecution dismissed the charges against him.
Source: Witness to Innocence
Read more about Kwame’s story here.