Very bad idea......your more likely to do more damage cutting the springs rather then just replacing them.....I'm replacing mine with eibachs and since you have a 3rd gen, should be fairly easy for you.
Bad idea if you plan on keeping the Escort for any time. A buddy of mine had a crap MR-2 that we cut the springs out of ( for fun of course ). It looked really cool for a while. However we had taken away any kind of ride it had, and eventually put the strut rods through the strut towers / hood. Well, because the car was'nt mine, the last part was kind of cool. Save yourself the headache, and drop some loot on a set of springs.
basically i will say... as bad as cutting your springs are... with a 1 inch drop all around on cut springs there are thousands of cars with cut springs rolling around and if you take your time you will be fine. you will not gain handling or ride quality but you will drop. the biggest issue is heating the springs up when you are cutting them... they loose their temper which is what most likely happened to the mustang. if you cut them taking your time and allowing them to cool you will be just like 90% of the lowered vw community on cut springs. i say if you have zero extra money and are dying for a drop you have been warned but you will more than likely be alright... if you have some money but are too cheap for springs then dont waste your time.