Ricky Jackson
Ricky Jackson spent nearly four decades in prison after being falsely convicted of murder.

A US man, who spent 39 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, has been awarded £1m compensation for his wrongful imprisonment.

Ricky Jackson, 57, was charged with the murder of an Ohio based businessman named Harry Franks, in 1975. The conviction was based solely on the testimony of a twelve-year-old boy, Eddie Vernon, who claimed to have witnessed the murder.

Jackson was found guilty and placed on death row, along with brothers Ronnie and Wiley Bridgeman.

Following a Supreme Court ruling in 1978, outlawing capital punishment, their sentences were commuted to life.

In 2013, Eddie Vernon, recanted his testimony, after confessing to a priest that he had been coerced by the police into lying. He told authorities he had never actually witnessed the crime. There was no other evidence linking Mr Jackson to the killing.

Based on the recantation and corroborating testimony that Vernon lied in 1975, a judge dismissed the charges against the three men in November and Ricky Jackson was freed last year.

The Court of Claims ordered the state of Ohio to pay Mr Jackson $1,008,055 (£677,000) for the nearly 39 years he spent in state prison.

Hearing news of the £1m payout, he said: "Wow, wow, wow, that's fantastic, man. I don't even know what to say. This is going to mean so much."

Ricky Jackson is the longest-held US prisoner to be cleared of a crime. On 22 November, 2014, leaving the prison where he had been incarcerated for nearly four decades, Jackson said: "The English language doesn't even fit what I'm feeling. I'm on an emotional high."

Asked of his plans for the future, Jackson revealed his sense of uncertainty and the practical difficulties of re-assimilating to life as a free man. "It's ironic," he said. "For 39 years, I've had a place to stay. Now, you know, that's precarious."

Bridgeman, who is now 60-years-old, said he never gave up hope that he would someday be granted his freedom. "You keep struggling, you keep trying," he said.

Wiley Bridgeman and Ronnie Bridgeman, who now goes by the name of Kwame Ajamu, have not yet received any compensation.