After three decades of being in prison, Louisiana death row convict Glenn Ford was finally a free man on Tuesday. As he walked out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Ford told reporters that he had mixed emotions about his release but that “it feels good” to be exonerated.
Ford – who is now 64 years old – was charged in 1983 for the murder of an elderly white man in Shreveport named Isadore Rozeman. Ford did occasional yard work for Rozeman and some witnesses placed him close to the scene of the crime on the day of Rozeman’s murder. Ford immediately headed to the police station when he found out that the police were looking for him, and he cooperated with authorities all throughout the investigation. Ford was 34 years old when an all-white jury convicted him of first-degree murder and sentenced him to the death penalty.
For years, Ford’s legal team had argued that their client was wrongfully convicted after a trial during which he was represented by “inexperienced counsel” and information was unlawfully suppressed. In 2013, a major development happened in the case when prosecutors disclosed the admission of another man to the murder of Isadore Rozeman. A suspect named Jake Robinson, whom Ford identified from several photographs, was the man who admitted to the informant that he shot and killed Rozeman.
During the murder investigation, Ford mentioned a man he identified as “O.B.”, who had given him jewelry to pawn. Later on, O.B. (whose real name is Henry Robinson) and his brother Jake were also charged with Rozeman’s murder, although the charges were eventually dismissed. Jake Robinson’s then-girlfriend Marvella Brown implicated Ford in the shooting, but declared that it was all a lie when she testified on trial.
Louisiana law states that exonerated convicts who served time are entitled to receive monetary compensation amounting to $25,000 per year of wrongful incarceration and an additional $80,000 for “loss of life opportunities”.
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