Tuesday was a good day for Glenn Ford, 64. After being wrongly convicted of a crime, and spending nearly 30 years on death row, a judge finally vacated the conviction, allowing Ford to walk free from prison.
Ford was found guilty, in 1984, for the alleged murder of 56-year-old Isadore Rozeman, a jeweler that Ford worked for occasionally. Ford has always denied the accusations, and has been on death row since August 1988.
As he was walking out of the gates of the maximum security prison at Angola, Ford was confronted by reporters, who asked him how it felt to be a free man after all of these years. “It feels good; my mind is going in all kind of directions. It feels good,” Ford said.
New evidence, proving that Ford did not take part in the murder and wasn’t even present at the time, led State District Judge Ramona Emanuel to void his conviction.
“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,” Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, the attorneys for Ford, said in a statement on Tuesday. They explained that Ford’s trial had been “compromised by inexperienced counsel and by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence, including information from an informant”.
While Ford is thrilled to be a free man, he admits that he will always harbor resentment for those who took those years away from him. “Yeah, cause, I’ve been locked up almost 30 years for something I didn’t do,” Ford said. “Thirty years, 30 years of my life if not all of it. I can’t go back and do anything that I should’ve been doing when I was 35, 38 and 40 – stuff like that. My son when I left was a baby, now they’re grown men with babies.”
Although no one can give him back the time he has lost with his family, a Louisiana law calls for compensation for those who were convicted and later exonerated. The law states that the person shall receive $25,000 per year of wrongful incarceration with up to a maximum of $250,000. It adds that the person will receive up to $80,000 for loss of “life opportunities.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons