A Prison Cell (Representational Picture)
A Prison Cell (Representational Picture)Wiki commons

Glenn Ford, one of the US' longest-serving prisoners on death row, has been freed from a Louisiana prison, after he was exonerated of charges that he had killed a man in 1983.

A Louisiana court on Monday ordered that Ford be exonerated. The African American was convicted by an all-white jury in 1983 for the robbery and murder of 56-year-old Isadore Rozeman.

Rozeman, a Shreveport watchmaker, was found shot dead behind the counter of Ford's jewelry shop.

The judge in Shreveport ordered his release acting on new information. The action was taken after prosecutors asked the judge to set aside his first-degree murder conviction, citing new evidence in the case.

Local media reported that Ford was released late on Tuesday afternoon.

"We are very pleased to see Glenn Ford finally exonerated, and we are particularly grateful that the prosecution and the court moved ahead so decisively to set Mr. Ford free," Reuters quoted Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, attorneys for Ford as saying.

Asked by a reporter on how he feels as he left the prison in Angola, Ford said: "My mind is going in all kinds of directions but it feels good."

The 64-year old added that he was quite annoyed because he had been locked up for almost 30 years "for something I didn't do" and had lost 3 decades of his life for no reason, BBC reported.

Ford, a California native who occasionally worked for Rozeman, was found guilty in 1984 and was sentenced to death by electrocution, which was then the state's method of execution.

Ford has maintained his innocence for three decades and has filed multiple appeals. Most of his appeals, however, were denied.

But in 2000, the Louisiana Supreme Court agreed to look into Ford's claim that the prosecution suppressed favorable evidence related to Jake Robinson and Henry Robinson, the brothers who were initially implicated in the crime.

Court records show that an unidentified informant in 2013 told prosecutors that Jake had admitted to shooting and killing Rozeman, Reuters reported, citing Shreveport Times.

(Edited by Vishnuprasad S Pillai)