Glen Ford is free at last after 30 years on death row

Wednesday, March 12, 2013

Good morning:

Glen Ford, 64, is a free man today after spending 30 years on death row in Louisiana for a murder he did not commit.

This awful case features police and prosecutorial misconduct, forensic fraud, lying witnesses and ineffective assistance of counsel.

The victim was Isadore Rozeman, 56, a watchmaker in Shreveport who was found shot to death behind the counter in his store. Mr. Ford worked for him occasionally doing yard work.

Police arrested Mr. Ford in November 1983 for possession of property stolen from Rozeman’s store. He was charged with the murder the following February together with George Starks, Henry Robinson and Jake Robinson.

The Death Penalty Information Center is reporting,

Prosecutors said they recently received “credible evidence” that Ford “was neither present at, nor a participant in, the robbery and murder” of which he was convicted in 1984. Ford, who has always maintained his innocence, was tried and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. One of the witnesses against him said at trial that police had helped her make up her story. A state “expert” who testified about the victim’s time of death had not even examined the body. Ford’s lead trial attorney had never tried a jury case before. A second attorney, two years out of law school, worked at an insurance defense firm. They failed to hire any experts to rebut the prosecution’s case because they believed they would have to pay for the experts themselves. The Louisiana Supreme Court earlier said it had “serious questions” about the outcome of the trial, but did not reverse Ford’s conviction. Ford may have been involved in trying to pawn jewelry from the victim that he received from one of the original codefendants.

USA Today is reporting,

Movement in Ford’s decades-old case began last year when Caddo Parish prosecutors began filing motions in federal court indicating someone other than Ford had confessed to being Rozeman’s killer. The court documents indicate a confidential informant questioned in an unrelated homicide identified Jake Robinson, one of four men initially charged in Rozeman’s murder, as the triggerman, not Ford.

Few other details were provided until Thursday, when the motion spurring Ford’s release plainly stated that if the new evidence had been known when Ford went to trial the outcome would have been different. “Indeed, if the information had been within the knowledge of the state, Glenn Ford might not even have been arrested or indicted for this offense,” the motion states

There were no eyewitnesses to the crime and the murder weapon was never found. The prosecution’s most important witness was a woman named Marvella Brown. The Atlantic reports,

With all signs pointing to the Robinsons, and with police under the impression that the one or both of the brothers still possessed the murder weapon, Ford was not immediately charged with Rozeman’s murder. He and the two Robinsons were instead charged three months later—only after Jake Robinson’s girlfriend, Marvella Brown, incriminated them by telling the police that Ford was with the Robinsons, and in the possession of a firearm, on the day of Rozeman’s murder.

/snip/

Under cross-examination, however, she told jurors that the police had helped her make up the story she had told about Ford. When Ford’s attorneys later called her to the witness stand, she told jurors that a bullet left from an old gunshot wound to her head had affected her thinking. “I did lie to the Court… I lied about it all,” she said in court.

The all-white jury took less than 3 hours to convict Mr. Ford and it subsequently recommended a death sentence.

There were no blacks on the jury because the prosecution used a peremptory challenge to strike the only one from the jury, a practice condemned by the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).

Pursuant to Louisiana law, Mr. Ford will receive some financial compensation for being incarcerated for 30 years. The law requires the state to pay $25,000 per year of wrongful incarceration up to a maximum of $250,000 plus up to $80,000 for loss of life opportunities.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is our 930th post and donations are lagging. We work hard to keep you informed by filling in the blanks between the lines. After 30 years in the trenches, I am familiar with all of the rules and strategies prosecutors and defense counsel utilize. Experience counts and most of my predictions have been accurate.

Adjusting and fine tuning to dial in the white fear and racist corruption frequencies in the Florida courts took some doing, but I am on track now.

If you appreciate what we do, please make a donation.

We cannot pay our bills without your support.

Fred

26 Responses to Glen Ford is free at last after 30 years on death row

  1. The Globe and Daily Mail are reporting that China may have located the crash site for the triple 7 Malaysian Airlines in the ocean just off the coast of Vietnam.

    Satellite images show three large objects floating in the water.
    Location is right along the flight path not far from where it was last spotted on radar.

    Awaiting confirmation

  2. Trained Observer says:

    Also off topic: Speaking of waiving rights, Curtis Reeves Jr., the arrogant geez who fatally shot the guy texting his daughter’s babysitter in a Tampa area movie theater (and now faces a second-degree murder charge) has waived his right to a speedy trial. The retired cop, 71, was refused bail after an exhaustive two-day hearing where a half dozen witnesses heaped it on him. His defense lawyer, Dino Michaels, claims they are “putting together a team of experts and we’re conducting our own investigations … We’re going to work as quickly as humanly possible. We understand that our client is being held without bond, and we’re working on that as well.”

    Reeves’ next hearing: July 9, when Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa said he hopes to set a fall trial date. Lawyer Michaels plans to interview numerous witnesses, and also wants experts to analyze the autopsy report of Chad Oulson, 43, killed in the Jan. 13 shooting. Both guys are white, btw, so it’s anybody’s guess on how we’re going to get a thug angle worked in here, never mind that the theater had posted a “no firearms inside” policy that the retired-cop apparently didn’t think applied to him.

    Reeves was at the movies with his wife to see a matinee of Lone Survivor. Oulson, of Land O’Lakes, also was there with his wife. Reeves became irate when Oulson didn’t put his cell phone away during previews. The men argued, then Reeves left briefly to complain to a manager but returned alone. Reeves started up the argument again.Oulson stood, threw popcorn at Reeves (as shown on grainy video) which also shows Reeves pulling a .380 semiautomatic pistol from his pants pocket and firing, Oulson was hit in the chest and his wife Nicole in the left ring finger. Reeves is also charged with aggravated battery against Nicole Oulson.

    Witnesses included an off-duty cop, What with the video available for even the most obtuse juror, rots of ruck to this defense team.

    • bettykath says:

      It’s worth noting that the popcorn belonged to Reeves.

      • Trained Observer says:

        Yes, quite true. (He had handed it to his wife when he went to tattle tale to the manager.)

        • Trained Observer says:

          Testimony from the off-duty cop: After Reeves’ shot Oulson, Reeves’ wife told him he had no cause to shoot him. Reeves then told her “shut your fucking mouth and don’t say another word.” — Charming guy, that self-appointed movie hall monitor. Shades of Fogen.

          • MKX says:

            Reeves is well over six feet tall and weighs about 270lbs. Clearly, he is a man who uses a gun to make up for age robbing him of just being a bully. A bully likes to impose their will on others. He does not approve of cell phones in theatres and uses the guise of a rule {note a rule is not a law} to make others squirm before him.

            Zimmerman is a coward who needs a gun to be the “man” he never was or never will be.

            As a society, we should not be enabling this type of behavior.

            For it can leave the victims {I include relatives of the killed as victims} failed by our legal system with a choice of either letting the act go or getting their own form of justice.

            As a father, I don’t know if I could let the acts of the Zimmerman clan go. They basically say that it was Trayvon’s fault that he got shot.

        • Malisha says:

          If the popcorn was Reeves’ and the Reeves-wife was holding it, how did it come about that the victim threw it at the murderer? I can’t watch the video because my computer goes down when I watch videos (I have to get that fixed because I want to watch the “ABOMINATION” video from LLPapa again) so — if anybody can answer me that I would appreciate it. That’s the only thing I really don’t get at this point. The anger Reeves felt when it was made clear that he wasn’t being acknowledged as the absolutely lifetime king of the movie theater I understand. The armed explosion in response to the popcorn attack eludes my comprehension.

          • Trained Observer says:

            Malisha — Reeves had come back from tattling to theater employees and had retaken possession of his popcorn as he resumed verbally hassling the shooting victim sitting immediately in front of him. Oulson stood up, turned around and knocked the popcorn out of Reeves’ hand. Reeves then pulled his handy-dandy gun (theoretically not allowed in this theater, which had a no firearms posting) and shot him in the chest.

            The point: Reeves (whose attorney now likes to moan about his arthritis, bursitis, etc.) did not hop up to go buy popcorn. He already had that, which he had left with his wife. He had trotted off to the lobby to complain about Oulson texting his toddler daughter’s babysitter during previews.

      • Diamonique says:

        That’s a weird detail. Like Malish, I’d like to know how this happened.

    • Dave says:

      If the theater manager had ejected both of these jerks for their disruptive behavior (as, IMHO, he should have) the guy with the celllphone would be alive today. When I was a kid the local theater was always packed for the Saturday matinee (Two feature films plus trailers, cartoons and miscellaneous short films for a quarter!) There were always at least two ushers (large apelike teenagers) patrolling the aisles and anybody caught making noise or acting disruptive would be promptly removed. Repeat offenders would be banned from future shows (a fate worse than death!)

      • Diamonique says:

        The victim wasn’t doing anything disruptive. He was texting his babysitter during the previews. Plus, iirc he had put his phone away when the killer came back from trying to find a manager. So the killer had no reason to start it up with him again.

        • Trained Observer says:

          Dave — this theater was nearly empty, as the video shows. The shooter could have moved, if he didn’t like the guy in front of him texting during previews. As many witnesses have testified during the hearing on bail (which was denied): “It all happened so fast.” They meant the quick draw and shooting. The verbal hassle had come in two parts. .

        • Trained Observer says:

          Diamonique — Exactly. The shooter was cruising for trouble. BTW, and another woman has accused Reeves of hassling her the previous month at the same theater.

          • MKX says:

            Also note that Zimmerman pulled a gun on a delivery man and also made a series of false accusations against black males who had every right to be in that community.

          • Trained Observer says:

            This just in: Turns out Reeves himself had texted from his movie seat. The revelation came out in fresh court documents. Matthew Reeves, the shooter’s son (a Tampa cop), told deputies after the shooting that he was running late to meet his parents for the show. He texted his father that he was on the way. His father wrote back that he and his wife, Vivian, were in their seats. About 15 minutes later, according to docs, Matthew Reeves walked into the theater as a single shot rang out. Matthew told investigators he caught victim Oulson as he collapsed in the aisle. Matthew Reeves told Pasco deps that he didn’t see the argument or the shot but that “noise and light” came from the row as he walked into the auditorium. Matthew Reeves told investigators he immediately went toward the commotion although he didn’t know where his parents were sitting. He could see one person stand, then take a few steps back and then a few steps forward to the end of the row. As the stranger collapsed, Matthew Reeves caught him and helped him to the ground. He noticed the man was bleeding from what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the chest. Someone handed Matthew Reeves a T-shirt, and he pressed it against the wound. It was then, as he treated Oulson on the floor, that Matthew Reeves looked toward the back row and saw his parents. According to docs: “He said his father appeared to have a shocked look on his face.” (I guess that’s as opposed to his ass or elbo.) As stunned moviegoers fled, and Oulson’s wife,screamed that Reeves shot her in the hand, Matthew Reeves then got another bystander to take over tending to Oulson. He said he went to the lobby and told staff what happened and asked someone to call 911.Another sheriff’s deputy said as she wrapped the seats with crime scene tape, Matthew Reeves re-entered the theater and told her he was a Tampa police officer and the suspect’s son. He asked if his father had been arrested. Some wits left the theater immediately. One man said he crawled up the steps. A few others, including two nurses, stayed to aid the Oulsons. Off-duty Sumter sheriff’s Deputy Alan Hamilton took Curtis Reeves’ gun and made him stay seated until deputies arrived. Pasco investigator Steven Greiner wrote in a statement that Curtis Reeves was seated and appeared calm when he came to arrest him. “I told the suspect to get up and put his hands behind his back,” Greiner wrote. “He did not comply. I slung my AR-15 and grabbed his right arm. He got up from his seat but he still did not comply. . . . I moved him forward and bent his upper body over the chair in front of him. I then held his wrists behind him while (another deputy) applied handcuffs to his wrists.”

  3. Lynn says:

    Off topic but wanted to share. I emailed Rene Stutzman questioning how Roseanne Barr’s March 29th tweet could have been the reason the Sr’s moved out when she herself wrote about Papa’s letter in an article March 15th telling us how he had to move out.
    She replied first thing this morning…
    “Thank you for pointing out an obvious inconsistency. It’s something I should have picked up on yesterday.
    More to come.”

    Major journalistic fail. My daughter (majored in journalism from UF) would just say “Fact Check Error” and give her a zero.

    • Malisha says:

      I’d give the crazy beyotch worse than a zero if it were both possible and legal. She needs to stop trying to be a journalist and either get a job or else join Fogen’s harem.

    • bettykath says:

      Thanks for getting in touch with Rene. Maybe she will do a followup, pointing out the inconsistency.

  4. bettykath says:

    25,000 per year for being deprived of your family, fresh air, a job, etc.etc. seems pretty stingy. And then they cap it 250,000! He’s getting 25,000 a year for only the first 10 years. And only 80,000 for lost opportunities? I think about my life between 34 and 64 and 80,000 wouldn’t begin to cover it. 380,000 isn’t chicken feed except when you consider that the man gave up the best years of his life due to corruption in the court.

    • bettykath says:

      I’m so glad he’s free and that he has some sort of support system to help him navigate his freedom and all the societal changes that have taken place in the last 30 years.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      I think this type of compensation varies by state. I think there should be some sort of federal oversight and penalization for prosecutorial misconduct. I don’t suppose all involved are even alive after 30 years, but they should certainly have some punishment for conspiring to deprive this man of his civil rights.

      • The SCOTUS ruled recently that prosecutors have absolute immunity from civil liability for violating a person’s civil rights.

        Cops have immunity as long as they are acting in good faith.

        • Malisha says:

          Under those circumstances, it is no wonder prosecutorial misconduct is so rampant. At least with kings, they had to fear the sudden beheading. Prosecutors are free to commit any crime and most of the probably do.

        • Two sides to a story says:

          Totally nuts. There are some PDs in Cali that have citizen boards. Should at least have this safeguard.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: