In an all-too familiar story, the Cleveland, Ohio DA is releasing a man who spent almost four decades in prison for a murder he did not commit. Ricky Jackson is being released after a key eyewitness admitted that he lied about seeing Jackson attack and kill a money-order collector outside a Cleveland convenience store in 1975. The witness claimed that he had been fed misinformation about the crime from the police, and kept quiet because he feared retribution from the investigators. Once the witness recanted, the Judge overturned Jackson’s conviction and granted his release.
Innocence projects across the country have been fighting for convicted defendants’ freedoms. Most frequently, it is because witnesses have recanted testimony, or DNA has exonerated them.