BALTIMORE — A man who spent nearly 30 years in prison for a crime he was found to not have done is now suing the Baltimore Police Department.
On Wednesday the announcement was made that Jerome Johnson, who was exonerated in July 2018, will be suing the police to seek justice for spending 10,886 days behind bars.
Johnson was 20-years-old when he was arrested in October 1988 and charged with murder. He is the second longest-serving exonerate in Maryland history.
“I spent so much of my life in prison for something I didn’t do. We can’t go back and change the past, but I hope that there is justice at the end of this road,” said Johnson.
His lawsuit is specifically against the Baltimore Police Department and the four homicide detectives who investigated the 1988 murder. His suit says the detectives concealed a statement made by the State's star witness saying that Johnson was not involved. His lawsuit claims that the jury never heard that statement of innocence and instead only heard the witness's later version of the murder, which was the only evidence implicating Johnson.
The lawsuit also adds that the detectives pressured the witness to alter her story to purposely mislead the jury and judge to secure Johnson's wrongful conviction.
“Mr. Johnson was robbed of the prime of his life. While nothing in the world can give Mr. Johnson that time back, the police officers who violated his rights and are responsible for his wrongful conviction should be held accountable. We look forward to getting some measure of justice for Mr. Johnson for all that he has endured,” said Kobie A. Flowers of Brown, Goldstein, & Levy, LLP, an attorney for Johnson.
At this time we do not know what Johnson is hoping to get out of his lawsuit.