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3 men reach $18 million settlement with Cleveland 45 years after wrongful imprisonment

Three Cleveland men who were wrongfully imprisoned in 1975 have reached a settlement for $18 million.
Credit: wkyc

CLEVELAND — More than four decades after being wrongfully imprisoned, three men have reached an $18 million settlement with the City of Cleveland.

According to a press release, Kwame Ajamu, Wiley Bridgeman, and Rickey Jackson were wrongfully convicted of the robbery and murder of Harold Franks in 1975. All three men -- who were 20-years-old or younger at the time -- were convicted and sentenced to death, before having their sentences commuted to life in prison.

The convictions hinged on the testimony of a 12-year-old boy, Edward Vernon. Years later, Vernon said that Cleveland Police coerced him to testify falsely at the murder trial. In 2014, all three men were exonerated. A civil rights case against the City of Cleveland and the estates of the police detectives who caused their wrongful convictions was scheduled to go to trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio this summer before the settlement was reached.

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