A former Louisiana prosecutor is apologizing to an innocent man he helped send to death row for 30 years, and is calling for an end to the death penalty.
A. M. “Marty” Stroud III was the lead prosecutor in the 1984 murder trial of Glenn Ford, who was sentenced to death for the killing of jewelry store owner Isadore Rozeman. Ford, who is African-American, was found guilty by an all white jury. He was released from prison in March 2014, after new evidence proved that he was not the killer.
On March 6 of this year, the Shreveport Times published an editorial urging the state to not fight giving compensation for those who have been wrongfully convicted. Stroud responded to that editorial with a letter to the editor, in which he apologizes to Ford, Ford’s family, and the family of the victim.
Stroud says that, as a 33-year-old prosecutor, he was “arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.”
In the letter, and in a video released by the Shreveport Times, Stroud calls for an end to the death penalty, referring to it as “state assisted revenge.” He says:
The clear reality is that the death penalty is an anathema to any society that purports to call itself civilized. It is an abomination that continues to scar the fibers of this society and it will continue to do so until this barbaric penalty is outlawed. Until then, we will live in a land that condones state assisted revenge and that is not justice in any form or fashion.
Listen to Marty Stroud’s brave and powerful words about capital punishment in America, via the Shreveport Times:
Image via screen shot from the Shreveport Times