LA judge frees 30-year death row inmate; new evidence overturns murder conviction

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Angola, LA, United States (4E) – A Louisiana judge ordered Tuesday an inmate, who spent 30 years in death row, to be freed as new evidence shows he was wrongfully convicted in the murder of a man in 1983.

Caddo Parish District Judge Ramona Emanuel signed the order vacating the first-degree murder conviction and death sentence on Glenn Ford, 64, of Caddo Parish. Ford, who professed innocence since his arrest, left the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola Tuesday.

Under a Louisiana law, the state’s longest serving death row inmate is now entitled to a wrongful incarceration compensation of $25,000 per year of imprisonment up to a maximum of $250,000, plus up to $80,000 for loss of “life opportunities.”

Emanuel signed the order releasing Ford on the basis of “credible evidence” that came to light last year. The evidence, which was not disclosed so as not to jeopardize the prosecution of the real murderer, indicated Ford did not shoot dead and robbed Isadore Rozeman, a 56-year-old Shreveport jeweler and watchmaker, inside his shop on Nov. 5, 1983.

Ford’s lawyers, according to a press statement from Squire Sanders LLP, claimed that he was wrongfully convicted due to inexperienced counsel, suppressed evidence at his trial, and absence of the murder weapon, which implicated the true perpetrator of the crime. An all-white jury also convicted Ford.

Three other men were initially arrested along with Ford after the crime, but the charges against them were eventually dismissed.

Caddo Parish prosecutors filed the motion releasing Ford on Thursday.

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