Since 1973, a total of 152 people in 26 states have been released from death row because of new evidence proving their innocence. On average, these innocent people have spent 10 years in prison before they were set free. Glenn Ford, who was released from death row last March, was found innocent after serving 30 years in prison.
According to ABC News, Ford was convicted and sentenced to death in 1984 after allegedly killing Isadore Rozeman - someone Ford had done yard work for. The only reason Ford was exonerated of first-degree murder was because “an informant came forward and cleared his name” in 2013.
Ford would still be on death row today if not for the confidential informant who told police in 2013 that the real killer, Jake Robinson, confessed to killing Isadore Rozeman.
During Glenn Ford’s 1983 criminal trial, the odds were stacked against him: there was no murder weapon, no witness to the crime, but the jury came back with a guilty verdict and a death sentence because his team of lawyers were too green to defend a capital case.
The prosecutor at the time, Marty Stroud, reluctantly admitted to ABC News that he further stacked the deck against Ford by “ensuring the jury was all white.” (Glenn Ford is black.)
In his home state of Louisiana, exonerated former inmates like Glenn Ford are eligible for as much as $330,000 in compensation payments. When Ford petitioned for the money, the judge denied his request, saying that “while Ford didn't kill Rozeman, he was not completely innocent because he may have known about the shooting beforehand because of his communication with the brothers.”
According to ABC News, this is a claim Glenn Ford “fiercely denies.”
After being locked up for 30 years, the state, though it admits to the mistake, will not offer Glenn Ford any retribution for it. Today, Ford is virtually penniless. He had $20 in his wallet when he was arrested and less than a dollar in his bank account.
And Ford could really use the money. ABC News reports that “just months after he was released, he was given another kind of death sentence: he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. He now survives on donations and is cared for by a staff of volunteers, including John Thompson, another exonerated prisoner, who now operates a home for exonerees.”
What does Jesse Ventura think of America’s prison system? Watch this episode of #OffTheGrid to find out:
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
More from Jesse Ventura's Off The Grid
Jesse Ventura: How Bernie Sanders Sold Out
Jesse Ventura remembers his hero, Muhammad Ali
Jesse Ventura: Snowden performed public service & is a hero
Jesse Ventura: Why voters should listen to Gov. Gary Johnson
Jesse Ventura: Clinton will do anything to win, even pick Sanders as VP
Jesse Ventura: Here's one reason why I can’t be president
Is there hope for our economy? Most Americans don’t think so.
Jesse Ventura: I am not running for president