Prosecutor’s confession

April 20, 2016: second anniversary of Rubin Carter’s death.

Recent article with respect to Kevin Cooper’s San Diego, CA) pending execution, A.M. Stroud, prosecutor from Louisiana, weighs in on the dangers of his own prosecutorial misconduct:

Assistance has come from an unlikely corner — a prosecutor from Louisiana who tried a similar case. The move comes in part because A.M. Stroud III has publicly acknowledged that he ignored evidence that would have proven Glenn Ford’s innocence. Ford was exonerated in 2014 after spending 30 years on that state’s death row. He died of lung cancer a year later.

“Instead of searching for the truth, I was determined to convict Mr. Ford,” Stroud said. “Because of my actions, an all-white jury convicted Mr. Ford and sentenced him to death in December 1984. Thereafter, appellate courts upheld Mr. Ford’s wrongful conviction. As a result, Mr. Ford spent 30 years on death row in the maximum security penitentiary at Anglola, Louisiana, one of the most horrible prisons in the country.

“To be frank, when I prosecuted Mr. Ford for a crime he did not commit, I was arrogant, narcissistic and caught up in the culture of winning. I did not seek truth or justice. I sought only to win,” said Stroud.

The prosecutor has appeared on “60 Minutes” and in other media to apologize for his actions and warn other prosecutors from making “revenge for victims the dominate motivation and winning at all costs the goal.”

These words validate Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s belief that many wrongful convictions involve prosecutorial misconduct. Stroud’s actions were typical, his remorse atypical. Good on you, Mr. Stroud.

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About ken

I am a former Toronto teacher and writer now living in Vancouver. I work with Dr. Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, with whom I published Eye of the Hurricane: My path from Darkness to Freedom (Chicago review Press, 2011), as Director of Media Relations and as an advocate for wrongly convicted prisoners. Other publication credits include Songs of Aging Children (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1992) a book of short stories about troubled youth, and Taking Steam, a play co-authored with the late Brian Shein, staged at New York's Jewish Repertory Theatre and Toronto in 1983. Life Without (Quattro Books, 2012) is a novella about a New York cab driver wrongly convicted of killing his pregnant wife. Gary Geddes (Lt. Governor's Award for Literary Excellence) described it as "one of the most brilliant and harrowing short novels I've read since I went on a John Hawkes binge."

One thought on “Prosecutor’s confession

  1. I so agree with this. Both from a case where I was personally over-charged, and in many cases I have studied since then, it is no exaggeration to describe the prosecutors as vicious. As this former prosecutor attests – the system is now setup for them to be so … but the original design was one where prosecutor’s were to be impartial seekers of truth for society at large.

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