A piece in Tuesday’s edition of the
New Orleans Advocate
highlighted Louisiana exoneree Glenn Ford’s fight for compensation for the 30 years he spent on death row for a murder he did not commit.
With the help of the Innocence Project New Orleans, Ford was exonerated last year after new evidence implicating a different suspect emerged. Ford’s attorneys argue that under Louisiana’s compensation statute, Ford is eligible to be compensated for the years he lost behind bars, but the attorney general’s office has denied Ford’s petition and engaged in a legal battle that could last years. Unfortunately, Ford was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and was given a prognosis of only months to live.
Innocence Project New Orleans Attorney Kristin Wenstrom filed the compensation claim on Ford’s behalf, highlighting his medical condition and the fact that he spent more time on death row than any other exoneree in the United States.
“I don’t know if there could be a clearer case where somebody is deserving of compensation,” Wenstrom told the
. “I mean, the man walked out of prison with nothing but the clothes on his back.”
Ford told the
that, not knowing how much time he has left, he is fighting mostly to make compensation easier for future Louisiana exonerees. In the meantime, he is making the most of his freedom, visiting Disneyland with his family and attending Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras. In April, he will set sail on a cruise with his children, funded by donations to a GoFundMe account set up by a Massachusetts woman who was inspired by his story. Ford told the
that he is thankful for the outpouring of help and kind words he has received from people all over the world.
“I need it the way I need a heartbeat to live,” he told the
. “I take it as a blessing, in the middle of all this madness.”