May 19th, 1975 – a money order salesman was accosted and subsequently robbed by three black men at a convenience store in my neighborhood. One of the assailants proceeded to shoot the victim twice but eventually expired from his wounds. Fast forward to May 25th, a young black man, Ricky Jackson, at that time 18 years of age, stayed at a friend’s house at that time.
He heard a lot of noise at the front porch before he gets any sense of what was going on, the front door was kicked, there were lots of flashlights, side guns shotguns. Police grabbed young Ricky to the couch and slammed him to the floor, cuffed him and proceeded with an interrogation.
video: Imprisoned for 39 Years
Ricky Jackson repeatedly told the police that he knows nothing about the crime that they were totally innocent. The police tried to get the young black man to sign that he refused to do so. But he was physically beaten all in the course of trying to get the young black man to confess to a crime he didn’t do. They were denied of bail, no bail bondmans can help at that time.
It was said that a young boy who lived in the neighborhood where the young black man lived went to the police and reportedly said that he had witnessed this crime. And these assailants were said to be Ricky Jackson and his two friends. For whatever reason, there were testimonies and witnesses that Ricky has never seen in his life, they were taking the stand. They were falsely testifying against the young black man and his friends. Eventually, they were all found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death by electric chair.
To be sent to prison for something you didn’t do is so indescribable and you have to fight every day to maintain the sanity and to be the person that you are.
Ricky fought every day clinging to the words of his mom – If you want to win this, you have to come out. Ricky spent most of his time in prison that he was not even able to cry when he heard about his mom being sick. The prison made him so callous and heartless.
People have forgotten about the people who were charged wrongly. No one fought for them. 40 years passed and no one cared to look into the case again. But a project that advocates free innocent people in prison left no stones unturned. The person who placed Ricky and his friends in prison is now a middle-aged man. They made some contact with a local writer. He tracked this guy and he told the truth. Ricky and his friends were retried and found totally innocent leading to his release from prison. Ricky is now a free man.
How many innocent people should go to prison because of false accusations? This is an injustice that has to halt.