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Prosecutor apologizes for sending man to death row for 30 years for a murder he didn't commit.
'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.
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.'
Wrongly accused: Ford, a father-of-four (pictured in a booking photo), was sent to death row in 1984
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
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