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.

7 thoughts on “144

  1. Deuteronomy says that if a person is found to have perjured himself to convict his fellow man, he ought to suffer the same penalty he thought to inflict. Sounds good to me. If a prosecutor can’t be bothered (Angela Corey or this chap in Louisiana) to provide exculpatory evidence, it’s time for him to spend some time in the greybar hotel.

    Or worse, in this case. Seriously; if he did this with the death penalty in mind, do you think he quibbled in lesser cases?

  2. This is something of a straw man, Mr. Berg. Death penalty proponents do not believe that it will never be applied unjustly.

  3. This is not an argument against Death Penalty, but for persecution of asshole attorneys – on both sides.

  4. Case like this are creating doubt in my mind my pervious support for the death penalty. Yet I still question the sheer insanity of spending a quite nice yearly slalary per inmate on some depraved animal (an insult to animals) that clearly has no chance of rehabilitation.

    But as those have posted befor me I’d love to see those that engage in corruption in the justice system and malicious prosecutions to be held legally responsible.

    Imagine the rates at which that that sort of activity would drop if the possibility that prosecutors might be incarcerated with some that they had put away…no special protection either.

  5. You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has laws, and those laws have to be guarded by Prosecutors. Who’s gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Ford and you curse the Prosecutors. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that Ford’s conviction, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me in that courtroom. You Need me in that courtroom. We use words like “evidence”, “criminal code”, “conviction”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending society. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you enroll in law school, pick up a case file, and stand up at trial. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

  6. Joe Doakes wins the internet today.

    I’m going to memorize that bit and recite it in reference to any number of other over-entitled vocations.

  7. Thanks, Mitch, but I can’t claim full credit. The inspiration came from my kid in the Navy, who dropped by the dentist and found a poster of this speech customized to the office . . . we live in a world that has tooth decay . . . my existence probably saves teeth . . . you Want me on that drill, you NEED me on that drill . . . I suggest you pick up a brush and dental floss.

    It was hilarious.

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