Louisiana's longest-serving death row inmate was freed on Tuesday after a state district judge voided his murder conviction and death sentence.
Sixty-four-year-old Glenn Ford, who spent almost 26 years on death row at the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, had maintained that he was not involved in the 1983 killing of a neighborhood jeweler and watchmaker, and previously undisclosed evidence corroborated Ford's claims.
According to a statement from Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, Ford's attorneys, the trial sent Ford to death row in 1988 was "profoundly compromised by inexperienced counsel and by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence, including information from an informant."
"I was locked up almost 30 years for something I didn't do," Ford told reporters as he walked out of the prison. "I can't go back..."
Amnesty International said the case was further proof that the death penalty should be abolished.
"Glenn Ford is living proof of just how flawed our justice system truly is," stated Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris, Amnesty International USA Senior Campaigner. "We are moved that Mr. Ford, an African American man convicted by an all-white jury, will be able to leave death row a survivor. We are more determined than ever to put an end to the death penalty, once and for all."