An Ohio man sentenced to death for the 1975 murder of a money-order salesman in Cleveland and later declared innocent in 2015 will speak at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Friday.
Kwame Ajamu, was sentenced to death row at age17 for the salesman’s death even though no physical or forensic evidence linked Ajamu, then known as Ronnie Bridgeman, to the murder. The case rested on the testimony of 13-year-old Eddie Vernon.
Ajamu’s death sentence was commuted to life in 1978 after Ohio’s death-penalty statute was declared unconstitutional. He was paroled in 2003. The Ohio Innocence Project investigated his case in 2011. In November 2014, Vernon told a judge reviewing Ajamu’s case that police gave him the details of the crime. Ajamu was declared innocent in February 2015.
The IU McKinney Wrongful Conviction Clinic, in conjunction with the Indiana Abolition Coalition, will host Ajamu’s visit. He will speak at 7:15 p.m. in the Wynne Courtroom of the law school.