EXCLUSIVE: Rodricus Crawford talks about his journey from Death Row to freedom
He also talked about how he lived a real-life nightmare, life on the Tier.
“I am seeing people that been here 30 years got sentenced. I seen a man sign a death certificate and I am innocent. Seeing that right there. Reading paperwork, this man saying I should die a slow and painful death for something I didn't do.”
When asked if it ever crossed his mind that he would be put to death, he responded, “Yeah, I was thought I was gone die. I am on Death Row on the Tier. I thought I was going to die."
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Now the actions that day all seem unbelievable to him.
On the 911 calls, you can hear chaos, crying and confusion moments after year-old Roderius was found unresponsive.
“He fell out the tub. I was taking him a bath. I set him right here, and I ran in to get a bath towel to dry him off. That's how he fell. Me, not paying attention, got on the phone and I heard him cry. His Mom came right down there and seen the bruises. That's how she knew where the bruises was.”
Using tissue and blood samples, defense attorneys argued that the real cause of the child's death was his failing health.
Crawford questions the coroner’s report.
“If the coroner would have followed what he was supposed to do, he would have knew about the bruises. How old, when they did it. He didn't do none of that That's the question we need to be asking him.”
Cecelia Kappel, the attorney who was assigned Crawford’s case after his death sentence, found nine doctors from throughout the country who dispute Traylor’s findings. All agree the child died of sepsis.
“If I were him, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing he put an innocent man on Death Row and he could have very well been executed for that,” Kappel said of Traylor.
In November, newly discovered evidence prompted the Louisiana Supreme Court to vacate Crawford’s sentence and order a new trial.
No evidence was produced at trial showing Crawford ever abused his son.
Crawford said he was interviewed five or six times. “I talked to them people and told them everything I knew.
“They tried to make me say I did something. I told them I am not going to say I did something and I didn't do it,” he continued.
“That was my first son. Every time I see my friends with their son, I think about my son. Every time, every day. That was my child. Why would I kill something I had?
But Crawford said he cannot seem to move past not receiving an apology from the state.
“They still ain't told me ‘I'm sorry.’ They still saying I did something. Can you believe that? Now how am I supposed to feel inside?”
LSU Health spokeswoman Lisa Babin released this statement: “Dr. Traylor declined to comment on allegations made by Rodricus Crawford.”
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