Glenn Ford's Trip of a Lifetime

PHOTO CREDIT:  JOHN THOMPSON, The Marshall Project ->please email if use of photo is a problem

Below is the unbelievable story of Mr. Glenn Ford, an exonerated former death row prisoner, free for less than a year after 30 years of wrongful imprisonment, now diagnosed with advanced lung cancer:

Excerpted from "What are 30 Years Worth?" by Andrew Cohen,

"You probably don’t remember Glenn Ford or his remarkable story of injustice and redemption. Eleven months ago, he walked out of a Louisiana penitentiary after spending 30 years on death row for a murder he did not commit. He was able to do so only after a new generation of prosecutors finally acknowledged in court what their predecessors knew or should have known all along: that there was “credible evidence” that Ford “was neither present at, nor a participant in, the robbery and murder” of Isadore Rozeman, an elderly jeweler who was shot to death in Shreveport on November 5, 1983.

Ford, a black man, was swiftly convicted by an all-white jury in 1984 for Rozeman’s murder but the case against him was always weak. His trial lawyers were uniquely unqualified to represent him in a capital case. The most important eyewitness for prosecutors later confessed she had lied about Ford’s involvement in the murder. The murder weapon was never found. The forensic evidence pointed away from Ford, who early on identified the two likely killers, and on top of that the coroner delivered flawed testimony. But for 30 years, as Ford’s case toggled back and forth between state and federal courts, no judge deemed any of this prejudicial enough to rescue the condemned man, who maintained his innocence the whole time.

We still don’t know for sure precisely why Louisiana changed its mind about Glenn Ford. But it was clear when Ford left the notorious Angola prison on March 11, 2014 that his reentry into the free world would be difficult. And it has been. He has suffered two terrible blows over the past year. He has been diagnosed with stage-three lung cancer that has spread to his lymph nodes and now to his bones. And, despite officially exonerating him for Rozeman’s murder, Louisiana now is refusing to compensate him for the decades the state wrongfully incarcerated him. More than one person involved in this case, including Ford himself, believe that state officials may simply be biding their time, and delaying the resolution of this dispute, in the hope that Ford will die of his cancer before the state must pay him."

When the article's author asked Mr. Ford what he would like to do in the short time he has left, Mr. Ford replied, “I would like to take my family, my grown son, on some sort of trip, some sort of vacation [...] since we haven’t bonded since he was eight or nine years old. If I can’t shake what I have I would like to leave them with some memory of what we had.”

Mr. Ford has seen the worst that humanity has to offer.  His treatment has been, and continues to be, grossly unfair in the hands of the state of Louisiana.  He has a number of goals to achieve in the three months or so he has left to live, given his advanced lung cancer diagnosis:  sell his art work, stay strong by going to the gym if he is able, and take a trip with his grown son.  Although he is owed $330,000 for his wrongful incarceration, it is highly unlikely he will see any of that money before his death.  

Glenn Ford's time is growing extremely short.  Please help him  take the trip of a lifetime with his son before it is too late.  Let's help provide him with happy memories in the short time that he has left.  100% of donations will be passed on to Mr. Glenn Ford directly.  If you would like to donate, please consider doing so as soon as possible so donations can be sent on to Mr. Ford while his health will still permit traveling.  I have a relative who is personally connected with Mr. Ford, and his story touched my heart.  We will be making our own personal donations too, but the more people involved, the better.  I'd like to do whatever we all can to help him.  Thank you for your kind contribution!

Read more about Mr. Ford's case here:
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Sarah Winacoo Butterworth 
Andover, MA

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