Louisiana’s longest-serving death row prisoner walks free after 30 years

Glenn Ford

Glenn Ford

LOUISIANA — 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.

“My mind’s going all kinds of directions, but it feels good,” Ford, 64, told reporters outside the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, according to CNN affiliate WAFB.

One reporter asked whether he harbors any resentment.

“Yeah, because I was locked up almost 30 years for something I didn’t do,” said Ford, who wore a denim shirt, a hat and dark-rimmed glasses.

“Thirty years of my life, if not all of it,” he said, WAFB reported. “I can’t go back.”

According to the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana, a judge ordered that Ford be freed Monday after prosecutors petitioned the court to release him.

New information corroborated what Ford had said all along: that he was not present at nor involved in the November 5, 1983, slaying of Isadore Rozeman, the project said.

“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 Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, Ford’s attorneys.

They have argued his trial was compromised by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence and by inexperienced counsel.

Ford had been on death row since 1984, making him one of the longest-serving death row prisoners in the United States.

“After 30 years, Louisiana’s longest-serving death row prisoner will get his freedom soon,” Amnesty International USA senior campaigner Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris said in a statement shortly before his release.

“Glenn Ford is living proof of just how flawed our justice system truly is. We are moved that Mr. Ford, an African-American man convicted by an all-white jury, will be able to leave death row a survivor.”

14 comments

  • RaceBaiting101

    Sad story if he is innocent but lets go one step further and make it racial with the last sentence….

  • Tim

    Race is always brought into any picture when its a black male or female….Let it be known that there are plenty of races in prison who should not be. This is a story based on our judicial system and its corruption, not racism, but of course they will make it about race. Typical to say the least.

    • dewey

      ever notice, it’s usually a black man who loses 18 to 30 years of his life…..haven’t seen too many whites and latinos being exonerated by DNA…and of course, it ain’t you so you have no problem with it

      • Tim

        Well when the majority of the prison population is black, then its pretty easy to say that its usually a black man who loses years of his life in prison. Stay out of the ghetto and avoid the thug life and crime, then maybe the difference between blacks vs. other races in prison would be evened out.

  • Tracey

    Yes, but he was not judged by his peers, it was an all white jury, i am sure there was some one black in town.. Have you ever heard of a white man being judged by an all black jury, no!!!

  • dewey

    how it is people can just ignore the pink elephant in the room…..you know as well as I do he was convicted on color…..it’s Louisiana…30 years ago….and still today, a lot down there hasn’t changed

  • Lynn

    The icing on the cake is the woman he allegedly killed was probably white therefore living in the south-he didn’t have a chance. This is a sad story. This man has missed so much. Money isn’t everything but I hope he is paid for all the years he unjustly served.

  • Brandon

    “Now Lets See” 100 Million Dollar Law Suit for being in there. I sure hope he gets alot of money for the time he spent.

  • charlene

    People making comments about what was written about the all white jury. ..i am not racist but it is a possibly that racism was part of his conviction but don’t even make it sound like that is the way it is today… Why is it OK for black to make a slur about racism and it’s OK.. There are more blacks that make racist remarks about whites and get a free pass… But put the shoe on the other foot and it’s an unforgivable sin… racism is racism if slurs are made by white or black… Let’s get the facts straight. ..I can not like a person for their views and if they are black,I become a racist. .. Who gets to make that call? Smh

  • ShhCrush

    Hey… I got mixed kids and its sad to say everything is about race and always has been! Blacks killing Blacks, Whites going on Rampages killing tons of innocent people that are just at school, or watching a movie, Mexicans killing whoever because they are part of the Drug Cartel… I mean really! Facts are facts! Yes he was Black…. Yes it was an all white jury… Yes he was wrongfully convicted an spent 30 yrs behind bars… And Yes he should be compensated! How can we as people ever move past anything when we can’t except reality…! Shut up complaining and move on GEESH!

  • Curious

    Maybe he should not have pawned stolen jewelry. If you are in possession of items that were taken during a murder, it’s not a far jump to conclude you were a part of the murder. If his friend committed the murder and then framed him, that is not a jury’s fault no matter their skin color.

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