State of Conviction: Ohio
Race: African American
Wrongful Conviction: Murder, Robbery
Exonerated Date: 2014
Years Served: 39
Wiley Bridgeman was 20 years old when he was wrongfully sentenced to death in 1975 for murder-robbery. The only evidence against Wiley, and his co-defendants, brother Ronnie Bridgeman (aka Kwame Ajamu) and friend Ricky Jackson, was the false, coerced eyewitness testimony of a 13-year-old boy named Eddie Vernon. In 2011, Cleveland Scene magazine highlighted the numerous inconsistencies in young Eddie Vernon’s testimony, and the absence of any other evidence linking Jackson and the Bridgemans to the crime. At the urging of his pastor, Vernon publicly recanted his story, setting in motion the exonerations of Kwame Ajamu, Wiley Bridgeman, and Ricky Jackson. 39 years later, a judge granted motions for a new trial filed by Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgeman and vacated their convictions.
Source: Witness to Innocence
Read more about Wiley’s innocence here.