Since August of 1988, Glenn Ford has sat on death row waiting for two fates that both seemed unthinkable: Either he would be set free or be executed. For 26 years maintained his innocence.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ford, 64, walked out of prison at Angola in Louisiana a free man, hours after a judge approved the state’s motion to vacate his murder conviction in the 1983 killing of 56-year-old Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport, La., jeweler and watchmaker for whom he had done occasional yard work, the Associated Press reports.
“It feels good; my mind is going in all kind of directions. It feels good,” Ford told WAFB-TV. Ford said that he does harbor some resentment for being wrongly convicted.
” … I’ve been locked up almost 30 years for something I didn’t do,” he said. “I can’t go back and do anything I should have been doing when I was 35, 38, 40, stuff like that.”
According to AP, based on new information that corroborated his claim that he was not present or involved in Rozeman’s death, State District Judge Ramona Emanuel on Monday took the step of voiding Ford’s conviction and sentence.
“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,” said a statement from the attorneys for Ford from the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana.
According to AP, Ford’s trial had been “profoundly compromised by inexperienced counsel and by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence, including information from an informant,” the statement read. Ford’s attorneys also cited what they said was a suppressed police report related to the time of the crime and evidence involving the murder weapon.
A Louisiana law entitles those who have served time but are later exonerated to receive compensation, AP reports. It calls for 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.”