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Freed death row inmate died hours before Supreme Court ruling that cited him

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A former death row inmate in Louisiana died on Monday, hours before his exoneration was cited by the US supreme court as a reason for caution in carrying out death sentences.

Glenn Ford was released from Angola prison in Louisiana in March 2014 after serving 30 years on death row for a 1984 murder, a conviction which in 2013 prosecutors conceded they could no longer support.

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Related: Death row inmate Glenn Ford released 30 years after wrongful conviction

He died of lung cancer on Monday at the age of 65, his supporters announced to Nola.com , “surrounded by friends, loved ones and family”.

Hours later, the supreme court upheld the use of a controversial lethal injection drug, allowing Oklahoma to resume executions for the first time since January.

In a dissenting opinion to that ruling, justice Steven Breyer cited three cases of death row inmates who were proven not guilty in the last year – Ford, Henry Lee McCollum and Anthony Ray Hinton – as he urged the court to take up a full review of the death penalty.

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“And in Glenn Ford’s case, the prosecutor admitted that he was partly responsible for Ford’s wrongful conviction, issuing a public apology to Ford and explaining that, at the time of Ford’s conviction, he was “not as interested in justice as [he] was in winning,” Breyer wrote.

“All three of these men spent 30 years on death row before being exonerated,” Breyer wrote, citing research that showed courts and governors are more likely to exonerate inmates when a death sentence is at play.

“To some degree, it must be because the law that governs capital cases is more complex. To some degree, it must reflect the fact that courts scrutinize capi­tal cases more closely. But, to some degree, it likely also reflects a greater likelihood of an initial wrongful convic­tion.”

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The Times-Picayune on Monday said Ford’s final 15 months “were spent outside prison walls, but not without challenges”, citing a state petition to deny him state-mandated compensation for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

The prosecutor behind Ford’s conviction denounced the state’s appeal and apologized to him earlier this year .

“I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family,” AM Stroud III wrote in a letter published in the Times of Shreveport.

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guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015


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All of the corruption happing in Trump White House has been outed by his own people: Dem strategist

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President Donald Trump might be alleging a "deep state conspiracy" or blaming Democrats for striking out against him, but as one analyst explained, it's his own people behind these reports.

During an MSNBC discussion, Democratic strategist Tara Dowdell explained that it's hardly any kind of conspiracy when Trump's own people are reporting him for doing something illegal.

"All of the leaks, all of the information that we have currently about the corruption going on in the Trump Administration has come from Trump officials," Dowdell told host Rev. Al Sharpton. "They’re the ones leaking this information. Democrats have been obstructed by the Trump Administration from almost every request for documents. We saw how Corey Lewandowski behaved in that hearing. So, what makes this even more compelling is it’s part of a pattern that people within Trump’s own administration are the ones that are exposing him. So, there’s nothing more compelling —"

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Republicans love the Constitution — until it applies to them: Conservative columnist

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot unleashed on President Donald Trump's latest scandal he's calling Ukraine-gate. But when it comes to Republicans, he called them outright complicit.

In his Sunday column, Boot noted that a mob boss doesn't have to overtly say “pay up, or we will destroy your store” to be guilty of extortion. In Trump's case, he tends to say things in a way that it is understood what he wants people to do, according to former "fixer" Michael Cohen.

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‘Time to go to court’: Former prosecutors explain how Democrats can still uncover whistleblower scandal

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The White House is doing whatever it takes to obstruct any investigation into a recent whistleblower complaint, but two former prosecutors have ideas for what Congress should do next.

This week it was revealed that President Donald Trump said something so concerning to a foreign leader that a senior intelligence officer filed a complaint. The officer then filed for whistleblower protections. A series of actions are outlined in the law for the next steps, but Trump and his appointed officials in the White House have worked to stymie the process the law requires.

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