A Louisiana man released from Death Row because…
…he didn’t commit the crime for which he spent 26 years on Death Row:
State District Judge Ramona Emanuel on Monday took the step of voiding Ford’s conviction and sentence based on new information that corroborated his claim that he was not present or involved in Rozeman’s death, Ford’s attorneys said. Ford was tried and convicted of first-degree murder in 1984 and sentenced to death.
“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 Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, the attorneys for Ford from the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana.
And why did Ford spend over a quarter century on Death Row?
They said Ford’s trial had been “profoundly compromised by inexperienced counsel and by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence, including information from an informant.” They also cited what they said was a suppressed police report related to the time of the crime and evidence involving the murder weapon.
That may be the second-biggest problem with the death penalty (right behind “it’s irreversible”); since it’s usually involved in intensely emotional cases, and intense emotions mean lots of votes for district attorneys, these cases are often an invitation to cut corners on things like “due process” and stuff.
The kicker? This isn’t even rare.