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Man who spent decades on LA. death row is freed

Louisiana Death Row Inmate Released After 30 Years
Mar. 12, 2014 5:57 AM EDT

ANGOLA, La. (AP) - A man who spent nearly 26 years on death row in Louisiana walked free of prison Tuesday, hours after a judge approved the state's motion to vacate the man's murder conviction in the 1983 killing of a jeweler.

Glenn Ford, 64, had been on death row since August 1988 in connection with the death of 56-year-old Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport jeweler and watchmaker for whom Ford had done occasional yard work. Ford had always denied killing Rozeman.

Ford walked out the maximum security prison at Angola on Tuesday afternoon, said Pam Laborde, a spokeswoman for Louisiana's Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

Asked as he walked away from the prison gates about his release, Ford told WAFB-TV, "It feels good; my mind is going in all kind of directions. It feels good."

Ford told the broadcast outlet he does harbor some resentment at being wrongly jailed: "Yeah, cause, I've been locked up almot 30 years for something I didn't do."

"I can't go back and do anything I should have been doing when I was 35, 38, 40 stuff like that," he added.

State District Judge Ramona Emanuel on Monday took the step of voiding Ford's conviction and sentence based on new information that corroborated his claim that he was not present or involved in Rozeman's death, Ford's attorneys said. Ford was tried and convicted of first-degree murder in 1984 and sentenced to death.

"We are very pleased to see Glenn Ford finally exonerated, and we are particularly grateful that the prosecution and the court moved ahead so decisively to set Mr. Ford free," said a statement from Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, the attorneys for Ford from the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana.

They said Ford's trial had been "profoundly compromised by inexperienced counsel and by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence, including information from an informant." They also cited what they said was a suppressed police report related to the time of the crime and evidence involving the murder weapon.

Currently, there are 83 men and two women serving death sentences in Louisiana, according to Laborde.

A Louisiana law entitles those who have served time but are later exonerated to receive compensation. It calls for payments of $25,000 per year of wrongful incarceration up to a maximum of $250,000, plus up to $80,000 for loss of "life opportunities."

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ldeer9 March 12 2014 at 3:22 PM

There are some in prison who shouldn't be there and there are some who should be in prison and aren't. System is not perfect. Never like to hear of an innocent person in jail.

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1 reply
sjguu ldeer9 March 12 2014 at 3:40 PM

Agreed, and one of the best arguments against the death penalty—however insufficient, some attempt at reimbursement/compensation can be made to the individual per self. Payments to an estate of someone wrongfully executed just don’t do it.
Not that $320,000 gives back 26 years of Mr. Ford’s life, but it will help him do better moving forward. I hope that those who withheld evidence are (a) no longer in a position to be able to do so and (b) prosecuted for so doing.

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imrustysmom March 12 2014 at 4:07 PM

It's disgusting that it took 30 yrs. to discover that he is innocent.

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tim_parsons March 12 2014 at 4:24 PM

somewhere around $12.00 per day for 26 years of hell

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Joan March 12 2014 at 11:08 AM

Let's hope that he has good family and friends who will help him acclimate outside those prison walls. Cannot blame him for being bitter. Wishing him well. Our justice system at work, not! The judge, attorneys, and cops should be held responsible. But, it never works out that way, does it?

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1 reply
Artsfww Joan March 12 2014 at 11:17 AM

I agree. It breaks my heart and the compensation is an insult. Peoplke didn't do their jobs. This man has lost the best years of his life. He had no chance to have a family. Thanks

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Les March 12 2014 at 4:56 PM

Until a poor person, black or white gets the same representation as a wealthy person, the death penalty will always be unfair.
We see far too many people with money or influence get off while the others are convicted.

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Dr. Read March 12 2014 at 10:59 AM

When their is suppression of evidence as there was in this case prosecutors need to go to jail. Im talking about you Harry Connick.

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2 replies
pucpaul Dr. Read March 12 2014 at 11:07 AM

I agree. Some of these prosecutors are worse then the folks they're trying to convict. It's all a game to them.

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icutfishbait Dr. Read March 12 2014 at 11:12 AM

would you say the same thing this guy was white???,i think not

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Michael March 12 2014 at 5:07 PM

But the recent mutant killer ( News from The Associated Press ) of 7 was awarded by a jury almost a 1/2 Million dollars for getting a beaten by one of the prison guards where he is locked up. We most certainly have some problems that need to be corrected in what's regarded as one of the best systems in the world.

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Ed March 12 2014 at 10:59 AM

After almost 30 years incarcerated and 26 on death row, plus the admission that the state withheld evidence, etc...the state maximum $ isn't half enough...I'd take some of the $ and sue the prosecutors office for malicious prosecution and, if the individuals are alive, take them for all they are worth...but this is Louisiana...and he has three strikes against him already...he is black, even though he was exonerated, he will still be looked on as a convicted murderer, and he's probably a democrat...or should be.

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laarsdev March 12 2014 at 10:58 AM

Justice delayed is justice denied.

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shipfixr March 12 2014 at 3:59 PM

Wow! Almost $1million! It's NOT ENOUGH!!

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1 reply
Patty and Don shipfixr March 12 2014 at 4:22 PM

I agree!

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