Compensation fight continues for exonerated death row inmate Glenn Ford

Compensation fight continues for exonerated death row inmate Glenn Ford
Glenn Ford, was 64 when he walked out of Angola State Penitentiary in 2014. He died 15 months later. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Glenn Ford, was 64 when he walked out of Angola State Penitentiary in 2014. He died 15 months later. (Source: KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The fight continues for a Shreveport man who spent 30 years on death row before his exoneration, only to die of cancer 15 months later.

Glenn Ford was released from Angola after local prosecutors said they had information clearing him of a 1983 murder of a Shreveport jeweler.

After his release, Ford sued the State of Louisiana for more than $330,000 in compensation he claimed he was entitled to for spending 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. The state fended off the suit and denied the claim, but not before Ford died from lung cancer last June.

On Monday, Glenn's attorney Kristin Wenstrom from the Innocence Project New Orleans was appeared in Louisiana 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in downtown Shreveport to argue on Ford's behalf.

"The elements of the crime they are alleging now they should have been presented at trial, and the trial court at the compensation proceeding relied on evidence not presented at trial," said Wenstrom.

"The original ruling actually used evidence not presented at trial, so if you are going to go outside the statute of the law to use evidence to say he is factually not innocent, then the courts ought to go outside of the law to extend some mercy," added Innocence Project Texas Board Member,  Joyce King.  King drove from Dallas to be in court for the hearing.

Former Prosecutor Marty Stroud tried Glenn Ford's case 30 years ago. He has come forward and apologized to Glenn Ford for his role in putting him on death row. Stroud say there was evidence not presented in the case that he knew could have cleared Ford back then. Before Ford died, Stroud traveled to New Orleans and asked for his forgiveness.

Stroud was in court Monday listening to the arguments.

"I think this society, when we put somebody on death row for 30 years for a crime he didn't commit, he ought to be paid something," said Stroud, adding that it was a slap in the face for the state to give Ford only $20 for his "inconvenience."

A state Assistant Attorney General was in court to defend the original ruling that Glenn Ford is not entitled compensation because he is not factually innocent. Although he was cleared of a murder and armed robbery, they say he knew about it and participated in selling items from the robbery.

It could be weeks before a ruling is handed down. If Glenn Ford is awarded compensation in this case, his dying wish would be granted, and that is to put the money in a trust for education for his 10 grandchildren.

Copyright 2016 KSLA. All rights reserved.