"Man who spent decades on La. death row in 1983 killing freed after judge vacates conviction," is the AP report, via the Tribune.
A man who spent nearly 26 years on death row in Louisiana walked free of prison Tuesday, hours after a judge approved the state's motion to vacate the man's murder conviction in the 1983 killing of a jeweler.
Glenn Ford, 64, had been on death row since August 1988 in connection with the death of 56-year-old Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport jeweler and watchmaker for whom Ford had done occasional yard work. Ford had always denied killing Rozeman.
Ford walked out the maximum security prison at Angola on Tuesday afternoon, said Pam Laborde, a spokeswoman for Louisiana's Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
Asked as he walked away from the prison gates about his release, Ford told WAFB-TV, "It feels good; my mind is going in all kind of directions. It feels good."
The Shreveport Times reports, "Glenn Ford is a free man," by Vickie Welborn.
Glenn Ford’s freedom began at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday.
That’s when he walked out of Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola after sitting on death row as a condemned man for nearly 30 years. The time spent behind bars for the Nov. 5, 1983 murder of Shreveport businessman Isadore Rozeman gave him the distinction of being the longest serving death row inmate.
“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, attorneys with the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana who have been representing Ford, said in a prepared statement released after Ford’s departure from prison.
Undisclosed new evidence in the crime obtained last year set the wheels in motion toward Ford’s release. A court order vacating Ford’s first-degree murder conviction and death sentence was filed Tuesday.
The attorneys say that new information corroborates what their client claimed all along: “That he was not present at nor involved in the crime for which he had been convicted and sentenced to death.”
CNN reports, "Louisiana's longest-serving death row prisoner walks free after 30 years," by Dana Ford.
There are many ways to measure 30 years, but for Glenn Ford, the yardstick is simple.
"My sons -- when I left -- was babies. Now they grown men with babies," he said, speaking as a free man for the first time in nearly three decades.
Ford, Louisiana's longest-serving death row prisoner, walked free Tuesday after spending nearly 30 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit.
"After nearly 30 years on death row, Glenn Ford is exonerated — and free," by Lindsey Bever for the Washington Post.
Here’s the motion to vacate filed March 11 in which prosecutors acknowledge that had they known then what they know now, Ford would not have been charged.
Last week, prosecutors filed a motion to exonerate Ford, stating that in late 2013 evidence was presented “supporting a finding that Ford was neither present at, nor a participant in, the robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman,” according to Reuters.
On Monday, State District Judge Ramona Emanuel moved to void Ford’s conviction and, on Tuesday, Ford walked free.
The Los Angeles Times reports, "After 30 years on Louisiana death row, inmate exonerated of murder," by Michael Muskal.
Ford, who had done occasional yardwork for Rozeman, repeatedly denied any part in the killing. He voluntarily went to the police when he learned they wanted to talk to him.
During a series of interviews with police, his lawyers said, Ford had stated that he had gone to see Rozeman on the day of the murder and that Rozeman had told him that he did not have any work for him. Ford also discussed meeting and spending time with a man named “O.B.” According to Ford, O.B. asked Ford to sell a .38 revolver though O.B. never actually gave Ford the weapon. O.B. did give Ford jewelry, which he wanted Ford to pawn.
Ford pawned the jewelry. Receipts showed that the jewelry was similar to goods taken from Rozeman’s shop.
Ford later identified a suspect named Jake Robinson from a set of photographs, and identified Jake’s brother Henry, also a suspect in the murder, as O.B. Ford said that identifying the Robinson brothers as suspects caused him to be afraid for his life. About three months later, Robinson’s girlfriend, Marvella Brown, was interviewed by Shreveport detectives and implicated Ford in the shooting.
Ford’s trial began on Nov. 26, 1984. Whenshe testified then, Brown admitted she had “lied about all of it,” Ford’s attorneys stated.
Still, the all-white jury returned a guilty verdict and the jury recommended a sentence of death during a penalty phase. The charges against Jake and Henry Robinson were later dismissed.
"Minnesota legal team helps man who spent decades on La. death row go free," is by Associated Press, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Six Minnesota attorneys worked on the case for more than 20 years, said St. Paul Attorney Deborah Ellis.
Ellis said attorneys in non-death penalty states were recruited to assist Ford beginning in the 1980s. She said she began working on it “furiously” in 1990 filing numerous appeal motions, meeting with Ford several times, and putting in thousands of volunteers hours. She said without her work and others from Minnesota, Ford likely would have been put to death..
“He wouldn’t have been alive at the time that somebody else confessed to the murder,” she said.
"Death-row inmate released after 30 years; evidence shows he was elsewhere at time of murder," is by Martha Neil for the ABA Journal.
Experts for the prosecution testified against Ford without solid bases for their findings, and Ford's defense lawyers, under the mistaken impression that they themselves would have to pay for the costs of expert witnesses, did not present any competing testimony, news reports now say.
Meanwhile, prosecutors withheld evidence that could have helped Ford's defense, and appellate courts upheld his conviction despite what judges recognized as a troubling lack of evidence.
Ford was represented by the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana in his successful effort to win his release.
Additional coverage includes:
"Glenn Ford, Black Man Wrongfully Convicted By White Jury, Freed After Nearly 3 Decades On Death Row," by Kathy Finn for Reuters, via HuffPost.
"Louisiana inmate Glenn Ford released after 30 years on death row," by Kate Stanton of UPI.
"Louisiana man walks free after 30 years on death row: ‘It feels good’," by AFP, via Raw Story.
CBS News posts, "Glenn Ford, La. death row inmate, released after 30 years."
"Freed death row inmate: 'I want to go get something to eat'," by Nick Foley of WAFB-TV. There is video at the link.
Aljazeera America posts, "Man on death row for 26 years walks free."
Earlier coverage of Glenn Ford's exoneration begins at the link.
According the the Death Penality Information Center, which maintains a list of exonerations, "Glenn Ford is 144th Death Row Inmate to be Cleared of All Charges Since 1973 and the 10th in Louisiana."