Louisiana Death Row Inmate Exonerated After Thirty years

Today, Glenn Ford became the nation’s 144th death row inmate to be exonerated and released. Since 1984–thirty years–Ford has waited for this day.  Still, the question remains, “Will the state of Louisiana, and the  nation as a whole, seriously examine what went so wrong in this case?”  Atlantic writer Andrew Cohen offers this assessment of Ford’s case:

“In the next few weeks, as this story spreads, the focus naturally will be on the ending of it—Ford’s first steps toward freedom. What few will focus upon, sadly, is why it took 30 years for justice to shine through here or why anyone (in or out of Louisiana) ought to have any confidence in a judicial system that so mightily defends verdicts like this one.”

Cohen details in exhaustive fashion the bungling of Ford’s counsel and conviction, the utter weakness of his case, the apparent inability or lack of will by Louisiana’s judiciary to seek justice. Ford said after his release this morning, “My sons, when I left, was babies. Now they’re grown men with babies.”

Today, Glenn Ford – convicted by an all-white jury, with no eyewitnesses, hampered by ineffectual counsel, condemned by false testimony, now 64 years old – walked out of Angola as Louisiana’s longest serving death row prisoner, but also a free man.

Photo source: http://www.rte.ie/news/

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