A black man who spent nearly 40 years in prison for a wrongful conviction will receive $1 million from the state of Ohio for the injustice.
This Thursday, a judge ordered that the $1 million be paid to Ricky Jackson.
In November of last year, Jackson, 57, and Wiley Bridgeman, 60, were both exonerated in a 1975 murder case after a key witness, who was 13-years-old at the time, admitted in 2013 that he lied during his testimony.
The witness, Eddie Vernon, now 53, said he had never even witnessed the crime and that Cleveland police coerced him into testifying that the men killed businessman Harry Franks on May 19, 1975.
According to the Ohio Innocence Project, Jackson and Bridgeman have served the longest sentences in U.S. history of anyone exonerated for a conviction.
If you’re disgusted that Jackson’s compensation for spending 39 years of his life behind bars is only $1 million, you’re not alone. When news of the settlement hit social media, people were aghast and many thought he should have at least gotten a million for every year the state took away from him.
Doing the math, $1 million is equivalent to Jackson working a $12 per hour job for 39 years straight.
Michele Berry, Jackson’s attorney, said that a financial advisor will help the former inmate manage his money wisely.
“It’s been an honor to work for and with Ricky,” Berry said. “He’s probably the wisest person I’ve ever met.”