An innocent Detroit man who spent 25 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit will receive $1 million for the wrongful conviction. Desmond Ricks was awarded the money Wednesday (Jan. 17), as part of a Michigan’s wrongful imprisonment compensation act, the Associated Press reports.
Ricks, 51, was released from prison last May after being exonerated of a 1992 second-degree murder conviction. Three months later, Ricks filed a $125 million civil-rights lawsuit, accusing officers in the murder case of framing him by switching the bullets found in the murder victim to make it look as though he committed the crime.
Authorities accused Ricks of using his mother’s gun to kill Gerry Bennett outside of a restaurant in Detroit. He was sentenced to a maximum of 62 years in prison.
“I was fighting from the beginning,” Ricks said during a press conference after his release. “When I was arrested, I knew I wasn’t guilty, I just had to convince the police of this — which I shouldn’t have had to do, but that was my job at that time. They weren’t seeing it any other way.
“It took me a long time, once I was incarcerated, to find someone to finally believe this happened to me, that the police did something,” he explained.
Ricks told AP that he feels “blessed” to finally be free. However, Ricks’ lawyer believes that he is entitled to an additional $216,000, and plans to appeal.