59-Year-Old to be Released after 39 Years in Prison for Murder he didn’t Commit

Friday, November 21, 2014
Ricky Jackson (photo: Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction)

After spending nearly 40 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, Ricky Jackson of Ohio is getting out.


The 59-year-old spent the last 39 years locked away for the 1975 homicide of money order salesman Harold Franks. He was convicted, along with two other men, of killing Franks despite the absence of physical evidence connecting them to the crime.


Prosecutors won their case against Jackson by relying on the testimony of then 13-year-old Edward Vernon—who recently admitted he lied under pressure from police about what he saw on May 19, 1975, the day Franks was shot and killed.


“The detective said that I was too young to go to jail, but he would arrest my parents for perjury because I was backing out,” Vernon said, according to Scene. “My mom was sick at that time, and that really scared me. I didn’t want my parents to get in trouble over this.”


The Ohio Innocence Project filed motions on Jackson’s behalf to have him retried. The district attorney later decided to dismiss the charges against all three men.


Jackson is the longest wrongfully incarcerated person in Ohio history, according to the Innocence Project. He’s to be released today.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Ricky Jackson To Be Released From Prison Friday After 39 Years of Wrongful Incarceration (by Vince Grzegorek, Cleveland Scene)

What the Boy Saw (by Kyle Swenson, Cleveland Scene)

Prosecutor Gets 10 Days in Jail to Make Up for Sending Innocent Man to Prison for 25 Years (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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