Absolved finally of taking a life, Charles Jackson now has his sights set on saving one.
Charles received the life-changing news at the end of last week that prosecutors in Cuyahoga County had finally decided to dismiss the charges against him for a 1991 double-shooting that left a man dead – a crime for which he had already wrongfully served 27 years in prison.
Last November, a judge in Cleveland overturned his conviction, giving him back his freedom but with the prospect looming that the state could decide to try him again.
The decision to dismiss the charges means that a retrial scheduled to convene this month isn’t going to happen, and that Charles officially joins the ranks of 27 other exonerees freed through the work of the Ohio Innocence Project, based in the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
(He was officially added to the National Registry of Exonerations on Wednesday. You can read his profile with full details of his case at http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=5605)
It also means he can travel to Jacksonville, Fla., where his nephew, Houston Foster, is now residing.
Houston Foster is suffering with advanced kidney disease, to the point he can no longer work nor travel. After testing this spring following his release, Charles turned out to be a match for donating the kidney that Houston needs.
Now he’s making plans for an extended trip to Florida for the transplant of one of his kidneys to Houston. Continue reading