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Vocapedia > Miscarriages of justice > USA


Glenn Ford   1949-2015





Glenn Ford,

at his home in New Orleans shortly

after being freed from death row in 2014.


Photograph: Henrietta Wildsmith

The Shreveport Times, via Associated Press


Glenn Ford, Death Row Prisoner Freed After 29 Years, Dies at 65


July 2, 2015









Glenn Ford    USA    1949-2015


Glenn Ford


spent nearly 30 years

on death row in Louisiana

for a murder

he almost certainly did not commit,

died (...) less than 16 months

after his conviction and death sentence

were vacated and he was released
















Corpus of news articles


Northern Ireland, UK, USA > Justice


Miscarriages of justice, Injustice




DNA evidence




152 Innocents, Marked for Death


APRIL 13, 2015

The New York Times

The Opinion Pages




However much Americans may disagree about the morality of capital punishment, no one wants to see an innocent person executed.

And yet, far too often, people end up on death row after being convicted of horrific crimes they did not commit. The lucky ones are exonerated while they are still alive — a macabre club that has grown to include 152 members since 1973.

The rest remain locked up for life in closet-size cells. Some die there of natural causes; in at least two documented cases, inmates who were almost certainly innocent were put to death.

How many more innocent people have met the same fate, or are awaiting it? That may never be known. But over the past 42 years, someone on death row has been exonerated, on average, every three months. According to one study, at least 4 percent of all death-row inmates in the United States have been wrongfully convicted. That is far more than often enough to conclude that the death penalty — besides being cruel, immoral, and ineffective at reducing crime — is so riddled with error that no civilized nation should tolerate its use.

Innocent people get convicted for many reasons, including bad lawyering, mistaken identifications and false confessions made under duress. But as advances in DNA analysis have accelerated the pace of exonerations, it has also become clear that prosecutorial misconduct is at the heart of an alarming number of these cases.

In the past year alone, nine people who had been sentenced to death were released — and in all but one case, prosecutors’ wrongdoing played a key role.

The latest was Anthony Ray Hinton, who on Apr. 3 walked out of the Alabama prison where he had spent almost 30 years, half his life, on death row. Mr. Hinton was convicted of two murders largely on faulty evidence that the bullets had come from his gun. His prosecutor at the time said he knew Mr. Hinton was guilty and “evil” just by looking at him. And later prosecutors continued to insist on his guilt even when expert testimony clearly refuted the case against him.

Why does this keep happening? In a remarkable letter to the editor published last month in The Shreveport Times, A.M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana’s Caddo Parish, offered a chillingly frank answer: “Winning became everything.”

In 1984, Mr. Stroud convinced a jury to convict a man named Glenn Ford and sentence him to death for murder. But Mr. Stroud now admits that because he was so focused on winning rather than on seeking justice, he failed to identify and turn over evidence that would have cleared Mr. Ford.

“How totally wrong was I,” Mr. Stroud wrote, apologizing to Mr. Ford — who spent 30 years in prison, 26 of those on death row — as well as his family, the judge, the jury, and the family of the murder victim, a jeweler named Isadore Rozeman.

This is little consolation to Mr. Ford, who was released in 2014 but is now dying from lung cancer that developed, and went untreated, while he wasted away in prison. (Last month a Louisiana judge denied Mr. Ford any compensation beyond the $20 debit card he received upon his release.) Still, Mr. Stroud’s powerful message is a rare admission of prosecutorial hubris and the outrageously high price many people pay for it.

Unfortunately, that message is unlikely to be heeded in places where it needs to be heard most — in Caddo Parish itself, for example, which sentences more people to death per capita than anywhere else in the country. Responding to the searing honesty of Mr. Stroud’s letter, the parish’s current first assistant district attorney, Dale Cox, offered up some candor of his own: “I’m a believer that the death penalty serves society’s interest in revenge,” Mr. Cox told The Shreveport Times. “I think we need to kill more people.”

The all-too-common mind-set to win at all costs has facilitated the executions of people like Cameron Todd Willingham or Carlos DeLuna, whose convictions have been convincingly debunked in recent years. And that mind-set led to the wrongful conviction of people like Mr. Hinton, Mr. Ford and Henry Lee McCollum, who was exonerated last year after spending three decades on North Carolina’s death row.

If not for the extraordinary after-the-fact efforts of lawyers, investigators, or just plain dumb luck, these men would be dead too, and neither Mr. Cox nor anyone else would be the wiser.

A version of this editorial appears in print on April 13, 2015,
on page A18 of the New York edition with the headline:
152 Innocents, Marked for Death.

152 Innocents, Marked for Death,
APRIL 12, 2015,










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