by Dru Hunsaker
After 30 years on death row for a crime that he didn’t commit, Glenn Ford was finally exonerated and released from prison on March 11, 2o14. Ford was Louisiana’s longest-serving inmate on death row after being convicted of the murder of Isadore Rozeman in 1984. Ford, now 64 with grown children, was freed after new information came to light regarding the case. Ford’s attorney’s blame his original conviction on the inexperience of his counsel and “suppression of evidence” (CNN).
Ford is not the first to spend decades of his life paying for a crime that he did not commit. Michael Morton, a 32-year-old husband and father, was convicted in 1986 for the brutal murder of his wife, Christine. Though Morton was working at the time of his wife’s death and no evidence linked him to the crime, he was convicted by a jury and spent 25 years behind bars before DNA evidence finally led to his release in 2011. In 2013 the prosecutor who worked Morton’s case plead guilty to withholding exculpatory evidence that would have exonerated Morton. The prosecutor, now a judge, only spent ten days in jail, compared to the 9,000+ that Morton suffered without cause.
The number of prisoners acquitted after new evidence was brought to light has many questioning the continued use of the death penalty. As of 2104, 32 states still utilize capital punishment, the primary method of each being death by lethal injection (Death Penalty Information Center).