Ricky Jackson to share his journey through the justice system at special event

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Radford University students, faculty and staff will have a chance to hear firsthand from Rickey Jackson, who was wrongfully convicted and subsequently spent four years on death row before having his sentenced converted to life in 1977.

Jackson will share his story at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 2, 2019 in McGuffey Hall, Room 203. In 1975, Ricky Jackson was convicted of a murder-robbery and subsequently sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life without parole.

In 2011, the Cleveland Scene magazine outlined Jackson’s case, particularly with inconsistencies around a key witness testimony. Shortly thereafter, attorneys with the Ohio Innocence Project filed a petition for a new trial on Jackson’s behalf. In November 2014, Jackson’s charges were vacated.

Jackson’s guest appearance is a part of a course, titled “Death Penalty in America,” taught by adjunct instructor Todd Jones ’88, M.S. ’94, in which students discuss various topics and Supreme Court decisions that have shaped the use of the death penalty.  

“I encourage all criminal justice students and others to attend this event and hear how mistakes have been made in the application of the death penalty,” Jones said, who is an investigator for the Virginia Farm Bureau. “Mr. Jackson’s personal story and exoneration details the lengthy process in correcting a wrongful conviction. Until the issues have been addressed, we may repeat the same mistakes.”

Jackson’s guest appearance shows the dedication to transformative learning experiences for students, faculty and staff at Radford University.

Sep 27, 2019
Max Esterhuizen