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Prosecutor apologizes for sending man to death row for 30 years for a murder he didn't commit.

cobbland
cobbland "Shorty": Belly (1998)Chicago...Members Posts: 3,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
'I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning': Prosecutor apologizes for sending man to death row for 30 years for a murder he didn't commit

Marty Stroud has admitted he was to blame for wrongly putting Glenn Ford behind bars in 1983 for the shooting death of his former employer. Ford, now 65, was freed a year ago after evidence emerged showing he was not at the scene of the murder. He has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and has 4-8 months to live. The state have refused to pay him compensation because they argue he cannot prove he is 'factually innocent.'Shroud slammed 'appalling' decision in a letter apologizing to Ford. He said if he had taken more time to ask the proper questions, he might have uncovered the evidence that ultimately led to Ford's release.

By LYDIA WARREN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 15:49 EST, 20 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:22 EST, 20 March 2015


A prosecutor who sent an innocent man to death row for 30 years has apologized to him and admitted he was more interested in winning the case than achieving justice.

Attorney A.M. 'Marty' Stroud III, from Shreveport, Louisiana, admitted that he was to blame for putting father-of-four Glenn Ford behind bars in 1984 for the fatal shooting of a jeweler.

'In 1984, I was 33 years old,' he wrote in a letter to The Shreveport Times. 'I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.'

Ford, now 65, was released from the prison in Angola in March 2014 but last month, he learned he has stage four lung cancer and just four to eight months left to live.

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Apologies: Attorney A.M. 'Marty' Stroud III, pictured, has written a lengthy letter apologizing to an innocent man he sent to death row as he slammed the state for refusing to pay the man compensation

Earlier this month, the state argued that Ford is not entitled to receive compensation for his time behind bars because he is unable to prove he is 'factually innocent'.

In his letter, Stroud, 63, slammed the decision.

'Glenn Ford should be completely compensated to every extent possible because of the flaws of a system that effectively destroyed his life,' Stroud said. 'The audacity of the state's effort to deny Mr. Ford any compensation for the horrors he suffered in the name of Louisiana justice is appalling.'

Ford was accused of shooting Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport jeweler and watchmaker for whom Mr Ford had done occasional yard work, in 1983 and was convicted the following year.

He was sent to prison, where he lived with little light or heat, while Stroud, who had been with the Caddo District Attorney's office for two years, went out to celebrate by having drinks with his team.

'That's sick,' he said in his letter. 'I had been entrusted with the duty to seek the death of a fellow human being, a very solemn task that certainly did not warrant any "celebration".'

From behind bars, Ford continued to protest his innocence.

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Glenn Ford, now 65, was convicted of an 1983 murder but was released a year ago after evidence showed he was not at the scene. He has since been diagnosed with cancer and has four to eight months to live

Then in 2013, State District Judge Ramona Emanuel voided the conviction and sentence based on the new information that corroborated his claim he was not present or involved in Rozeman's death.

'My fault was that I was too passive,' Stroud said in his letter. 'Had I been more inquisitive, perhaps the evidence would have come to light years ago...

'I did not hide evidence, I simply did not seriously consider that sufficient information may have been out there that could have led to a different conclusion. And that omission is on me.'

Stroud said he still does not know the extent of the new information that led to Ford's release.

But he added that the odds were stacked against Ford, whose attorneys were inexperienced in criminal law. He also faced an all-white jury.

In light of the new evidence, Stroud said he realized how wrong he had been.

'I speak only for me and no one else,' he said. 'I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family. I apologize to the family of Mr. Rozeman for giving them the false hope of some closure.'

In a separate interview with The Shreveport Times, Stroud again called for Ford to be compensated and for the 'barbaric' death penalty to be abolished.

Ford walked free from Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola on March 11, 2014, wearing a jean jacket, sweater and beanie hat and carrying all of his worldly possessions in two tiny boxes.

As he walked out of the prison gates, he said he was sad he had not been around to raise his now-adult sons, but added: 'It feels good; my mind is going in all kind of directions. It feels good.'

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Wrongly accused: Ford, a father-of-four (pictured in a booking photo), was sent to death row in 1984

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Freed: Ford is pictured in March 2014 as he was freed from the state prison following 30 years behind bars. He was given just $20 but was taken in by a non-profit group who found a free place for him to stay

Comments

  • cobbland
    cobbland "Shorty": Belly (1998) Chicago...Members Posts: 3,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Prison officials gave the then-64-year-old a debit card worth just $20. That, along with the money that he had in his bank account, left Mr Ford with a paltry $20.04 to his name.

    His lawyers set up an Amazon wishlist for strangers to donate funds and items - from furniture to clothing - so Ford could start to re-build his life.

    With the help of a non-profit group, Resurrection After Exoneration, he had a place to live free of charge and has since moved to his own apartment. He relies on Social Security disability and food stamps, and has also visited California to see his four sons.

    He has also filed separate federal lawsuits claiming he was wrongfully imprisoned and was denied medical care following his cancer diagnosis.

    He names numerous prison guards and prison doctors for ignoring his condition and says his poor living conditions, including contact with sewage and asbestos, contributed to his illness.

    After he left prison, he learned he had Stage 3 lung cancer, which has now progressed to Stage 4.

    26D8A44D00000578-3004771-image-a-33_1426882628602.jpg
    Making the days count: Ford, pictured last month, relies on Social Security disability and food stamps. He is suing the state for denying him medical care for his lung cancer, which is now terminal

    'I'm trying to make every day count,' he told The Shreveport Times from his home in New Orleans after learning he had just months to live.

    He said if he does get awarded any money, he plans to leave it to his grandchildren. He said he has between 17 and 21 - but could not be sure how many.

    Of his situation, he said: 'I don't have no anger. I have anger that I have cancer. I have resentment Angola allowed this to happen. I guess everything is for a reason. I really don't know.'

    Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections spokeswoman Pam Laborde told The Times-Picayune that she could not comment due to pending litigation and privacy issues.

    No one has been charged with Rozeman's death.

    Three men had also initially been arrested in the crime but were ultimately released because of insufficient evidence. Two of the men have since been indicted in other murders.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3004771/I-not-interested-justice-winning-Prosecutor-apologizes-sending-man-death-row-30-years-murder-didn-t-commit.html
  • r.prince18
    r.prince18 Members Posts: 1,353 ✭✭✭✭✭
    to bad he can't give the man time back.
  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    lot of prosecutorial misconduct going on out there
  • SneakDZA
    SneakDZA damn, am I a sinner? Members Posts: 11,223 ✭✭✭✭✭
    i wanted to 🤬 on the prosecutor regardless of what he said just of g.p. but after reading his letter it sounds like he's not only truly repentant and wants to apologize for his role in this case (which is sadly a rarity in and of itself) but he also wants to change the system so it won't happen again.

    but then again... part of me feels like if he really wanted to do the right thing and also make a statement he could start by giving that man half of everything he acquired in life in the past 30 years as a result of a career based at least in part on that false conviction.

    sidebar though...
    ...he added that the odds were stacked against Ford, whose attorneys were inexperienced in criminal law. He also faced an all-white jury.

    According to the 2010 census, Shreveport, LA was 50% black and 42% white and from what i could find for 1980 it was recorded as somewhere around 65.3% white and ~33% black; In my opinion an all-white jury on a death penalty case under those circumstances can only be classified as a lynching. Even at 65% white to 35% nonwhite and factoring a little bit of gerrymandering getting an all white jury by accident would be damn near impossible unless the prosecution and "defense" were colluding to make that happen for whatever reason.

    Here's a link to the transcript of denial for a rehearing in 1986 which is basically an abridged transcript of the original trial...

    http://www.leagle.com/decision/19861739489So2d1250_11479.xml/STATE v. FORD

    It's a long read but even if you skim it you can see there's no way this guy should have ever charged let alone convicted. Everything about this case screams corruption and misconduct in a way that should be an indictment on the whole criminal justice system in this country but in the very least on everyone involved in this particular case from the judge down to the detectives that made the arrest. Unfortunately the judiciary as a whole is a branch of government that exists with basically zero oversight and no true external checks and balances whatsoever.
  • Maximus Rex
    Maximus Rex Pulchritudo in Conspectu Regis The EmpreyanMembers Posts: 6,354 ✭✭✭✭✭
    SneakDZA wrote: »
    i wanted to 🤬 on the prosecutor regardless of what he said just of g.p. but after reading his letter it sounds like he's not only truly repentant and wants to apologize for his role in this case (which is sadly a rarity in and of itself) but he also wants to change the system so it won't happen again.

    🤬 that prosecutor and I'm going to tell you why. In the 1963 case of Brady v Maryland the SCOTUS established the precedent which has since became known as the "Brady Rule," which states that the People (in state criminal cases,) or the government has to turn over any all exculpatory evidence to the defense prior to trial. Often times the prosecutors will either hold on to the evidence to the last possible minute, thus not giving the defense team enough time to include the evidence in its case or the 🤬 ass muthafuckas simply won't turn the evidence over.

    This was probably a career case for 🤬 ass D.A. and he had evidence showing that dude didn't do the crime in the indictment, but he prosecuted the case anyway, which caused a man to lose 30 years out of life on top of being condemned to die. 🤬 the state also because at a minimum Ford deserves $90 million dollars, that's $3 million dollars for every year that the he spent on death row. Also, the 🤬 as former racist prosecutor should have to do 30 years in the same penitentiary that he sent other innocent men to to make it the best way he can.

    This is why I could never be a Assistant District Attorney or Assistant U.S. Attorney. I couldn't send innocent men to the penitentiary knowing that they didn't do the charges in the indictment and I damn won't engage in some fuckery to get a conviction. That's something else that's against my moral code, I couldn't look at myself in the mirror knowing that I sent a man to the penitentiary on the word of a snitch.

    Not to say that I'm the most religious person in the world, but I do believe in 🤬 , however, the Exdous 20:16 speaks about bearing false witnesses and when you're prosecuting criminal cases, you have to deal with a lot of reprehensible 🤬 made people people.

    Hopefully, Shroud believes in 🤬 , he's asked for for forgiveness and the Lord might show mercy upon his soul, but for ya boy Rex, I couldn't have did that punk ass because sending innocent men to prison, (let alone death row,) isn't something that I want on my conscious when I go see the Lord.

  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    SneakDZA wrote: »
    i wanted to 🤬 on the prosecutor regardless of what he said just of g.p. but after reading his letter it sounds like he's not only truly repentant and wants to apologize for his role in this case (which is sadly a rarity in and of itself) but he also wants to change the system so it won't happen again.
    i will actually give the guy credit for seeing the error of his ways --because that DOES seem to happen-- but i also wonder if guys who prosecuted 🤬 cases don't want to end up like Ken Anderson (or worse)

  • blackamerica
    blackamerica Members Posts: 2,897 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wrongly convict a man then refuse to compensate him for YOUR mistake. What a wonderful country we live in
  • kingblaze84
    kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think this guy was awarded a million dollars plus last week, he deserves much more
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