Glenn Ford, 65, who spent nearly 30 years on death row in Louisiana for a murder he almost certainly did not commit, died Monday in New Orleans, less than 16 months after his conviction and death sentence were vacated and he was released.
William Most, a lawyer for Ford, said the cause was lung cancer. He died at a home provided by Resurrection After Exoneration, a nonprofit group that assists freed prisoners.
Ford walked out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, one of the nation's toughest prisons, after spending 29 years, three months and five days behind bars, nearly half his life, most of that time in solitary confinement for all but an hour a day.
He was convicted largely on the basis of testimony by a witness, the girlfriend of one of the three other suspects, whose credibility was demonstrably undermined during the trial — she admitted to lying — and on circumstantial evidence.
Ford's two court-appointed lawyers had scant experience in criminal law, and neither had ever presented a case before a jury. Ford, then 34 years old, was black, while the 12 jurors who convicted him and sentenced him to die, as well as the judge and murder victim, were white.
After years of failed appeals, Ford's extraordinary release was precipitated by "newly discovered and credible exculpatory evidence," as prosecutors described it.
Miriam Schapiro, 91, established herself as a pioneer feminist and an accomplished artist, exploring forms that never had been seriously considered by the art intelligentsia.
Attracting thousands of viewers and drawing international headlines, her most visible California project was "Womanhouse," a condemned Los Angeles mansion that she, artist Judy Chicago, and 21 of their students and friends turned into a colorful, idiosyncratic, symbol-laden, humor-rich, round-the-clock women's art happening.
Each room of the rundown house was the work of a different artist. The kitchen was flamingo pink, with ceiling and walls decorated by plastic fried eggs morphing into breasts. One bedroom was a tomboy's paradise.
Schapiro, who with Chicago founded the feminist art program at California Institute of the Arts and created arresting "femmages," as she called them, from handkerchiefs, doilies, beads, baubles and fabric contributed by admiring women from around the U.S., died June 20 at the home of her caregiver in Hampton Bays, N.Y.
Schapiro had dementia for several years. Her death was confirmed by Judith Brodsky, the executor of her estate.
Charles Harbutt, 79, a photojournalist who infused his work with evocative imagery and an art photographer who transformed conventional scenes into surreal metaphors, died this week in Monteagle, Tenn., where he was teaching. He had emphysema, said his wife, photographer Joan Liftin.
Harbutt planned a career as a writer. But he altered his course in 1959, when he was 23, after being invited by Cuban rebels to document the Castro revolution. Immersing himself in Havana's convulsive and euphoric newfound freedom, he recalled, "I soon understood that I could get closer to the feel of things by taking pictures."
He became a noted photojournalist for major magazines and the renowned agency Magnum Photos.
Val Doonican, 88, an Irish crooner whose gentle, humorous way with a song and a story on television made him so popular in Britain in the 1960s and '70s that he once dislodged the Beatles' hit "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" from the top of the album charts there, died Wednesday in Buckinghamshire, England. His death was confirmed by his family, the Associated Press said.