It’s been nearly a month since Glenn Ford was released from jail after serving three decades for a crime he didn’t commit. And he’s wasted no time collecting the items and experiences he missed out on while in prison.
Ford, a 64-year-old black man, was convicted by an all-white jury for the robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman -- a 56-year-old Louisiana watchmaker, Reuters reported. He sat on death row from March 1985 until March 11 of this year when, acting on new information that vindicated Ford, a judge ordered him released from Louisiana State Penitentiary.
When he was finally set free, Ford had his eyes set on the novelties he never could get his hands on in jail -- some mangoes and a fresh change of clothes.
On his first day out, Ford told WAFB, he just wanted to "get something to eat."
But just paying for the very basics proved challenging. The state just gave him a debit card with $20 on it, as well as the 4 cents that remained in his prison account, according to The Atlantic.
Tired of seeing his dear friend wait for what he deserved, John Thompson decided to help Ford set up a registry -- the kind brides and moms-to-be typically send out to friends and family.
The pair got some help from Danielle Mickenberg, an investigator with the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana, and eventually set up Ford’s wish list on Amazon.com.
At first, they just posted the essentials: toilet paper and paper towels. But as things were quickly getting bought up, Ford decided to go out on whim and check off some bigger-ticket items, including a fan with four speeds that goes for $79.98 and $96 overalls.
Ford’s supporters also set up a PayPal account through which people can donate money directly, but Mickenberg noted that people have been more inclined to buy donate tangible items.
"Maybe they want to give a thing, not just money," she told The Atlantic. "It is a really nice moment in time, to see how people are reacting."