Glenn Ford, a death row inmate, walks away a free man after being held in prison for almost 30 years for a murder he did not commit. Ford always maintained he had nothing to do with the murder of a jeweler back in 1983, but new evidence now backs up his claim.
According to MSN News on March 12, Ford spent the last 26 years of his life on Louisiana’s death row until Tuesday when the state’s motion to vacate Ford’s murder conviction was approved by a judge. He was convicted in 1988 for the 1983 killing of 56-year-old Isadore Rozeman of Shreveport.
Rozeman was a jeweler and watchmaker who Ford occasionally did yard work for. New evidence collaborated Ford’s story that he was nowhere near the area when Rozeman was killed.
Attorneys for Ford said that his trial was “profoundly compromised” with “inexperienced counsel and the unconstitutional suppression of evidence.”
Happy to be a free man, Ford described his mind as “going in all kind of directions.” The overwhelmed Ford was asked if he harbored any 'resentment' for his incarceration. Of course he did, saying:
“Yeah, cause, I’ve been locked up almost 30 years for something I didn’t do.” Adding, "I can't go back and do anything I should have been doing when I was 35, 38, 40 stuff like that.”
If Ford didn't harbor ill feelings, he wouldn't be human. He didn't murder the man, but did the punishment for almost 30 years believing the end result was his death. He was sitting waiting for the prison system to put him to death.
It is impossible to compensate this man for all the years he has missed, but a Louisiana law does entitle those exonerated after serving time to receive compensation.
The law states that the person receive 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."
This is a drop in the bucket when it comes to compensating this man, who lost the best years of his life sitting in prison waiting to be put to death. At the very least he will be able to live comfortably and is not walking out into the world a poor man.