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Death Row for 30 Years, Now Glenn Ford is Free

    March 12, 2014
    Lacy Langley
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Louisiana man, Glenn Ford, walked free on Tuesday evening for the first time since being incarcerated 30 years ago for a murder he didn’t commit, according to CBS.

“My mind’s going all different kinds of directions, but it feels good,” Ford said moments after taking his first steps outside the Angola prison. He feels good, but does harbor some incredibly understandable resentment.

“I’ve been locked up almost 30 years for something I didn’t do,” Ford said. “I can’t go back and do anything I should have been doing when I was 35, 38, 40, stuff like that.”

He is now 64, and most of his life has passed. Ford was convicted in 1984 for the 1983 murder of Isadore Rozeman, 56, a Shreveport jeweler and watchmaker for whom he said he did some occasional yard work.

Rozeman was found shot to death behind the counter of his shop on Nov. 5, 1983 and no murder weapon was ever found. There were also no eyewitnesses to the crime.

The wrinkles in the case against Ford were numerous and are now a little disturbing. The most damning testimony came from a woman named Marvella Brown who happened to be the girlfriend of Jake Robinson, the man Ford implicated in the murder. Brown later testified that she had lied to the court.

There was also the fact that Ford’s court-appointed attorneys had never tried a murder case before. And there was the entirely white jury of his “peers” which, after his conviction, called for the death penalty.

In 2013, prosecutors notified the defense that “a confidential informant for the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office stated that Jake Robinson told him that he, not Mr. Ford, shot and killed Isadore Rozeman.”

The family of Isadore Rozeman welcomed the overturning of Glenn Ford.

“This is a positive reflection on the criminal justice system,” Phillip Rozeman, Isadore Rozeman’s nephew said. “We don’t have animosity for anyone. If someone else was involved or others were involved in his death there also will be justice for those people.”

According to The Shreveport Times, he also stated about the incident, “From a personal viewpoint for our family, this was a hard time and it was tragic that he was killed. It had a major impact, especially on my father, I think it had a negative impact on his health. My uncle was a kind and gentle person. He never hurt anyone. It was tragic he was killed for a few antique watches and clocks, that someone felt they needed to kill him for that.”

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    Clark County will take out a $10 million loan to pay a settlement to two men who spent 17 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of rape.

    Earlier, the county agreed to pay $10.5 million ($5.25 million apiece) to Larry Davis, 57, of Vancouver and Alan Northrop, 49, of Woodland, to settle a federal lawsuit.

    On Tuesday, county commissioners approved a financing plan to take out a seven-year loan for $10 million from Banc of America Preferred Funding Corp. at 1.85 percent interest. Clark County Deputy Treasurer John Payne said the additional $500,000 will come out of the county’s general fund. Taking out a loan avoids having the general fund take such a large hit, as it pays for public safety and other essential county services that have already been budgeted.

    The county has 30 days to pay the settlement, which was reached nine days into a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

    The county will pay $711,183 in interest, said Larry Frueh, finance manager for the treasurer’s office.

    The county filed a claim with its insurer, Washington Counties Risk Pool, but it was rejected because the county wasn’t insured in 1993.

    That year, Davis and Northrop were convicted of raping a woman in La Center. The woman had provided very few details about the suspects to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. She said she had been tied up and blindfolded while she was cleaning a house, and one man had raped her while another man held her down.

    With help from the Innocence Project Northwest and a judge’s order to do post-conviction DNA tests, Davis and Northrop were eventually able to force the county to do the testing.

    The evidence, taken from the victim’s fingernails and pubic hair, hadn’t been tested back in 1993 because of the lack of technology to test small amounts.

    When test results came back in 2010 showing DNA from two other men, a Clark County Superior Court judge vacated the convictions and the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office declined to re-file charges