Appeals court says exonerated men’s claims should be heard

CLEVELAND (AP) — An appeals court has ruled that a civil rights lawsuit filed by three men who spent decades in prison for a Cleveland murder they didn’t commit can proceed to trial.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday a federal judge wrongly dismissed lawsuits filed by Rickey Jackson, Kwame Ajamu (KWAH’-mee ah-jah-MOO’) and Wiley Bridgeman against Cleveland, a former police detective and the estates of three other detectives who are deceased.

Bridgeman and Jackson were released from prison in November 2014 after the witness, now an adult, recanted his 1975 testimony. Ajamu was paroled in 2003.

The three were convicted of killing a salesman outside a Cleveland convenience store. Ohio has paid them millions for wrongful imprisonment.

A city spokesman says Cleveland is disappointed with the decision and is evaluating its options.

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