AS SUPREME COURT KEEPS LETHAL INJECTION ALIVE, DEATH ROW EXONEREE, SYMBOL OF BROKEN SYSTEM, DIES
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Mourns Passing of Glenn Ford, Who Served 30 Years on Death Row for Crime He Did Not Commit
Washington, DC—Today, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty released this statement on the passing of death row exoneree Glenn Ford, who spent 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit.
Said NCADP Executive Director Diann Rust-Tierney:
“As Justice Stephen Breyer regretfully stated this morning in his dissent in Glossip v. Gross, it is long past time for our nation to rid itself of the archaic practice of the death penalty, as we risk executing innocent individuals. Today, we unfortunately see the impact of that risk exemplified in Glenn Ford, who served 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. Mr. Ford passed away without having received compensation from the state of Louisiana for the many years of life lost to him, the least we owed him.
“Mr. Ford was released in March 2014 after a state district judge voided his conviction based on evidence that demonstrated he had not committed a 1983 murder. Shortly after his release, he was diagnosed with cancer, and he battled both this and his fight for compensation for the last 15 months of his life.
“We would like to offer our condolences to Mr. Ford’s family and friends and supporters through this difficult time. We pledge to continue the fight to abolish the death penalty in his honor.”
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It saddens me to know that the mainstream media coverage of Glenn Ford’s death won’t make the public any the wiser.
The Times-Picayune article about Glenn Ford’s death gave Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell undeserved column inches to spew venom, without shedding light on Caldwell’s historic duplicity. Here’s the comment I would have posted if the paper’s sign-in requirements hadn’t have been so intrusive:
When Buddy Caldwell’s opinion on innocence is published or broadcast, the media is obliged to note that Caldwell successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court for it to remain lawful for prosecutors and their supervisors to be incompetent and completely dishonest.
The court case was Connick v Thompson, in 2011, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s minority opinion rocked [https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/09-571.ZD.html]. Because Ginsburg didn’t prevail, prosecutors and their supervisors can and do solicit false testimony, intimidate witnesses, put discredited experts on the stand, misrepresent forensic evidence, lie to the media, and whatever else they can think up.
Caldwell’s vile, forked tongue ruined many lives, and it couldn’t have happened if the mainstream media was a watchdog.
Via case law, the media is unduly protected from lawsuits for publishing or broadcasting unverified statements. It shows. Not only should the newspaper have addressed prosecutors and their supervisors absolute immunity from prosecution for deliberate misconduct, but judges’ absolute immunity.
May Glenn Ford rest in peace, may his family and friends get justice for his thirty-year persecution, and may the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty prevail, very soon … a nation that lets public attorneys and the media behave the way ours does shouldn’t be allowed to decide who lives and who dies, ever.