July 5, 2015
“In March, A. M. Stroud III, lead prosecutor at trial, wrote a remorseful article in The Shreveport Times, declaring, ‘Glenn Ford was an innocent man,’ taking responsibility for a rush to judgment and arguing for the abolition of the death penalty.
“ ‘I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family,’ Mr. Stroud wrote. ‘I apologize to the family of (the murder victim) for giving them the false hope of some closure. I apologize to the members of the jury for not having all of the story that should have been disclosed to them. I apologize to the court in not having been more diligent in my duty to ensure that proper disclosures of any exculpatory evidence had been provided to the defense.’
“He concluded: ‘I end with the hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford. But I am also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it.’ ”
– From “Glenn Ford, Spared Death Row, Dies at 65” by Bruce Weber in the New York Times (July 2)
By the time Mr. Ford was exonerated and released in 2014, he had served 29 years in Louisiana’s Angola prison. His freedom was short-lived: In less than 16 months he would be dead from lung cancer.
Prosecutor Stroud deserves credit for his humble and agonized apology, however late. His words could just as truthfully have come from the mouths of H.P. Williams, Bill Hart and Nancy Lamb – but of course they haven’t.