Impose order requiring cooling on death row, inmates’ attorneys ask federal appeals court _lowres

Advocate staff file photo MARK SALTZ -- The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

ANGOLA, La. — A Caddo Parish man walked free Tuesday after spending almost 26 years on death row at Louisiana’s maximum security prison at Angola.

Glenn Ford, now 64, had been on death row since Aug. 23, 1988, for the 1983 murder of 56-year-old Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport jeweler and watchmaker for whom Ford did occasional yard work. Ford has always denied killing Rozeman.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections says Ford was released at 5:40 p.m.

“We are very pleased to see Glenn Ford finally exonerated, and we are particularly grateful that the prosecution and the court moved ahead so decisively to set Mr. Ford free,” Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, attorneys for Ford from the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana, said in a statement prior to his release.

A district judge on Monday approved the state’s motion to vacate Ford’s conviction and sentence based on new information that corroborated his claim that he was not present or involved in Rozeman’s death, Ford’s attorneys said.

Ford’s trial was “profoundly compromised by inexperienced counsel and by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence, including information from an informant, a suppressed police report related to the time of the crime, and evidence of the murder weapon, which implicated the true perpetrator,” they said.

Currently, there are 83 men and two women serving death sentences in Louisiana, according to Pam Laborde, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.