LA Prosecutor Apologizes For Wrongful Conviction; Successor Defends System


Former Louisiana prosecutor Marty Stroud apologizes to CBS’s “60 Minutes” for his role in sending Glenn Ford to death row erroneously for nearly 30 years in the murder of a local jeweler. “I ended up, without anybody else’s help, putting a man on death row who didn’t belong there,” Stroud says. “I mean at the end of the day, the beginning, end, middle, whatever you want to call it, I did something that was very, very bad. I was arrogant, narcissistic, caught up in the culture of winning.”

The case began in 1983 in Shreveport, where Stroud, then 32, was assigned his first death penalty case. The deck was stacked against Ford. He was represented by court-appointed lawyers who handled civil cases, and prosecutors struck blacks from the jury pool. Ford is black and his victim was white. Much later, someone else confessed to the crime and Ford was freed from death row. Dale Cox, now acting district attorney in Caddo Parish, where the case was tried, says, “I don’t know what it is [Stroud is] apologizing for. I think he’s wrong in that the system did not fail Mr. Ford.” How? Cox says, “Because he’s not on death row.” Asked whether getting out of prison after 30 years is justice, Cox says, “Well, it’s better than dying there and it’s better than being executed.”


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