The longest-serving death row prisoner in Louisiana has been freed after 30 years behind bars. Glenn Ford was released this morning after spending three decades in prison for a crime he did not commit. Ford had been on death row since 1984 for the murder of Isadore Rozeman.
New information confirmed that Ford was not present at or involved in the November 1983 slaying of Rozeman. “My sons — when I left — was babies. Now they grown men with babies,” he said Ford, now 64, after being released. “I was locked up almost 30 years for something I didn’t do. Thirty years of my life, if not all of it. I can’t go back.”
It’s unclear whether Ford will now sue the state for damages, but it’s a likely bet he will do so. His attorneys have argued that his trial was compromised by inexperienced counsel and the unconstitutional suppression of evidence. “Glenn Ford is living proof of just how flawed our justice system truly is,” said Amnesty International USA senior campaigner Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris in a statement. “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.”
Newly available DNA evidence has allowed for the exoneration of 15 other death row inmates since 1992, but the Death Penalty Information Center also published a list of 10 inmates who were “executed but possibly innocent.”