May 04, 2015
How to Apologize

From The Shreveport Times:

Editor’s Note: Attorney A.M. “Marty” Stroud III, of Shreveport, was the lead prosecutor in the December 1984 first-degree murder trial of Glenn Ford, who was sentenced to death for the Nov. 5, 1983 death of Shreveport jeweler Isadore Rozeman. Ford was released from prison March 11, 2014, after the state admitted new evidence proving Ford was not the killer.

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I did not question the unfairness of Mr. Ford having appointed counsel who had never tried a criminal jury case much less a capital one. It never concerned me that the defense had insufficient funds to hire experts or that defense counsel shut down their firms for substantial periods of time to prepare for trial. These attorneys tried their very best, but they were in the wrong arena. They were excellent attorneys with experience in civil matters. But this did not prepare them for trying to save the life of Mr. Ford.

The jury was all white, Mr. Ford was African-American. Potential African-American jurors were struck with little thought about potential discrimination because at that time a claim of racial discrimination in the selection of jurors could not be successful unless it could be shown that the office had engaged in a pattern of such conduct in other cases.

And I knew this was a very burdensome requirement that had never been met in the jurisprudence of which I was aware…

After the death verdict in the Ford trial, I went out with others and celebrated with a few rounds of drinks. That’s sick. I had been entrusted with the duty to seek the death of a fellow human being, a very solemn task that certainly did not warrant any “celebration.”

Read it all, and don’t miss the video of Mr. Stroud discussing it. Plainly he is a man of honor and decency and dignity. Think how wonderful it would be, both for them and for the nation, if Dick Cheney and George W. Bush were to publish similar letters.

But I dream.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at May 04, 2015 03:11 PM
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