“I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.”
This week, prosecutor Marty Stroud wrote an open letter to a man who he helped put in prison, apologizing for his part in the man’s incarceration. The open letter was addressed to Glenn Ford, a man who spent 30 years on death row for a murder that he did not commit.
Ford was recently exonerated after evidence surfaced proving his innocence.
His letter is very lengthy and revealing, and describes in harsh detail the reality of the justice system that everyone knows but no one will speak.
In 1984, I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning. To borrow a phrase from Al Pacino in the movie “And Justice for All,” “Winning became everything.”
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.”
In my rebuttal argument during the penalty phase of the trial, I mocked Mr. Ford, stating that this man wanted to stay alive so he could be given the opportunity to prove his innocence. I continued by saying this should be an affront to each of you jurors, for he showed no remorse, only contempt for your verdict.
How totally wrong was I.
I speak only for me and no one else.
I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family.
Ford is one of the longest-serving death-row inmates in American history to be exonerated.
What Stroud did in this case and others in unspeakable, however, it takes a genuine human being to come forward and admit they were wrong, especially in circumstances such as these.
Just after the letter was written, Stroud was interviewed by The Shreveport Times, his interview can be seen below:
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.