Louisiana’s longest-serving death row prisoner walks free after 30 years

(CNN) — There are many ways to measure 30 years, but for Glenn Ford, the yardstick is simple.

“My sons — when I left — was babies. Now they grown men with babies,” he said, speaking as a free man for the first time in nearly three decades.

Ford, Louisiana’s longest-serving death row prisoner, walked free Tuesday after spending nearly 30 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit.

“My mind’s going all kinds of directions, but it feels good,” Ford, 64, told reporters outside the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, according to CNN affiliate WAFB.

One reporter asked whether he harbors any resentment.

“Yeah, because I was locked up almost 30 years for something I didn’t do,” said Ford, who wore a denim shirt, a hat and dark-rimmed glasses.

“Thirty years of my life, if not all of it,” he said, WAFB reported. “I can’t go back.”

According to the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana, a judge ordered that Ford be freed Monday after prosecutors petitioned the court to release him.

New information corroborated what Ford had said all along: that he was not present at nor involved in the November 5, 1983, slaying of Isadore Rozeman, the project said.

“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 Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, Ford’s attorneys.

They have argued his trial was compromised by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence and by inexperienced counsel.

Ford had been on death row since 1984, making him one of the longest-serving death row prisoners in the United States.

“After 30 years, Louisiana’s longest-serving death row prisoner will get his freedom soon,” Amnesty International USA senior campaigner Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris said in a statement shortly before his release.

“Glenn Ford is living proof of just how flawed our justice system truly is. We are moved that Mr. Ford, an African-American man convicted by an all-white jury, will be able to leave death row a survivor.”

3 comments

  • airjackie

    Mr. Ford is one of the lucky ones as America has for as long as I have been alive used the Justice system to put minorities in jail, assure criminal record and execute. Remember America saw people of color not as valued as an animal and that was passed on to generations. We hear all kinds of excuses once it becomes public but many are just dead. Texas enjoys executing men as the Governor said even if the person is innocent. It’s a deep racist hate and barbaric teaching that allows our country to continue it’s ways. We can’t count in recent years the number of blacks released from jail after serving 25 years for crimes the court/prosecutors knew they never committed. It will continue until America charges and values human life and honesty.

    • Manalishi.

      Yes, the system needs to be divested of its. And lets face it, most states could not afford to pay the restitution deserved by those wrongly convicted. But be very careful injecting race into it. Cheers to Texas. Despite the tolerance that promotes crime, If three people or a video proves a murder without circumstance, The perp takes the express lane to hell regardless of race, PC, or your pretentious fraudulent lack of values used for an agenda.

  • Rage

    It’s not about black or white, it’s about an idiot who didn’t provide the actual evidense that could of saved this poor man from losing 30 years of his life. Such a travesty. I hope he lives to be 100 and gets a restitution of a king for the suffering he has been put through to no reason at all. Imagine if they would of executed and then found the evidence that was hidden on purpose……..shameful people, they should put that person into the cell he spent his lifetime in and see how they like it for even just one day :(.

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