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30 YEARS A SLAVE: America’s Longest Serving Death Row Inmate Is Free At Last, Free At Last

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS: 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 Correction. 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. MORE

PHAWKER: Glenn Ford was convicted by an all-white jury of his peers.

USA TODAY: According to Ford’s attorneys, his trial was “profoundly compromised by inexperienced counsel and by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence at his trial, including information from an informant, a suppressed police report related to the time of the crime and evidence of the murder weapon, which implicated the true perpetrator.” An investigation is continuing into “certain individuals who are not only responsible for the Rozeman homicide but several other unsolved homicides in our community, some of them very old and some of them not so old,” First Assistant District Attorney Dale Cox said. He expects within the next 30 days to bring one or more of those unsolved cases to a grand jury. Cox also plans to contact Ford’s attorneys to see if he would be willing to cooperate in the ongoing investigation. Movement in Ford’s decades-old case began last year when Caddo Parish prosecutors began filing motions in federal court indicating someone other than Ford had confessed to being Rozeman’s killer. The court documents indicate a confidential informant questioned in an unrelated homicide identified Jake Robinson, one of four men initially charged in Rozeman’s murder, as the triggerman, not Ford. MORE

RELATED:
143 Death Row Inmates Have Been Exonerated Since 1973

NEW YORK TIMES: A new study on capital punishment in the United States asserts that in this century 343 people were wrongly convicted of offenses punishable by death and that 25 were actually executed. MORE

RELATED: Ernest van den Haag, a professor of jurisprudence and public policy at Fordham University who is a longtime supporter of the death penalty, said the apparent infrequency of improper executions over 85 years buttressed the case for capital punishment. He called the 25 wrongful executions, ”if true, a very acceptable number.” MORE

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