In response to an editorial from The Shreveport Times, Attorney A.M. "Marty" Stroud III, the former lead prosecutor in the Glenn Ford case, issued a heartfelt apology to Mr. Ford for his role in the grave injustice that occurred in Mr. Ford's conviction and sentencing and the tremendous suffering he has caused him. Mr. Ford was sentenced to death for the Nov. 5, 1983 murder of Shreveport jeweler Isadore Rozeman, and was subsequently released from prison March 11, 2014 when new evidence showed the Mr. Ford was innocent. Mr. Ford is now suffering from cancer and has been fighting the state of Louisiana for compensation for his wrongful conviction and time spent behind bars. In his apology, Mr. Stroud called not only for the state of Louisiana to compensate Mr. Ford in full, but for the state to abolish the death penalty.
From The Shreveport Times:
In 1984, I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning. To borrow a phrase from Al Pacino in the movie "And Justice for All," "Winning became everything."
After the death verdict in the Ford trial, I went out with others and celebrated with a few rounds of drinks. That's sick. 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."
In my rebuttal argument during the penalty phase of the trial, I mocked Mr. Ford, stating that this man wanted to stay alive so he could be given the opportunity to prove his innocence. I continued by saying this should be an affront to each of you jurors, for he showed no remorse, only contempt for your verdict.
How totally wrong was I.
I speak only for me and no one else.
I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family...Glenn Ford deserves every penny owed to him under the compensation statute. This case is another example of the arbitrariness of the death penalty. I now realize, all too painfully, that as a young 33-year-old prosecutor, I was not capable of making a decision that could have led to the killing of another human being.
No one should be given the ability to impose a sentence of death in any criminal proceeding. We are simply incapable of devising a system that can fairly and impartially impose a sentence of death because we are all fallible human beings.
Read the full apology here: http://bit.ly/1APBC42.
The NCADP has created the 90 Million Strong Campaign to unite the voices of those who believe the death penalty is wrong. We need to demonstrate that the broad public support to end this practice is already here in America, and 90 million people speaking up can make a difference.