ANGOLA, LA (WAFB) - Moments after walking through the front gates of Angola after spending nearly three decades on death row for a crime he did not commit, Glenn Ford was asked what he planned to do first as a free man.
"Ah, go get something to eat," replied Ford.
Smiles and laughter will now come much easier for Glenn Ford after he was released from Angola Tuesday with nearly 30 years of his life spent behind bars.
"Do you harbor any resentment?" Ford was asked.
"Yeah, because I was locked up almost 30 years for something I didn't do," answered Ford. "It's resentment, not feeling bitter."
A judge ordered Ford be set free after the Caddo Parish District Attorney's office filed a motion to vacate his conviction for the 1983 murder of Isadore Rozeman, a jeweler in Shreveport. The prosecution citing recently obtained credible evidence that proves Ford was neither present, nor took part in Rozeman's murder.
"Words can't really express it but it's a wonderful day and we've been working on this for decades literally so we hope that it will be the first day for Glenn to start a new life," said Ford's Attorney Gary Clements.
For its part Rozeman's family says the news of Ford's overturned conviction brings back painful memories. Rozeman's nephew Dr. Phillip Rozeman is optimistic the prosecution's credible evidence will soon lead to another arrest.
"The only thing that we hope is that if there is someone else involved, that if there was someone else involved, that there will be justice for that person," said Rozeman.
Ford's newly found justice comes well behind schedule but it will also come with some financial help from the state of Louisiana. According to the Innocence Project, the state pays the wrongfully incarcerated $25,000 for each year in prison with a cap of $250,000. Wrongfully convicted can also receive an additional $80,000 for loss of life opportunities. Ford says he is happy to have that life back better late than never.
"It feels good," said Ford. "It feels real good."