Longest US prisoner exonerated 48 years on
Glynn Simmons had been serving the longest unjust sentence in the United States for a murder that occurred in 1974 was exonerated by a judge in Oklahoma. The man had been incarcerated for almost half a century for the crime. He was 70 years old at the time, was released from prison in July after a court ordered a fresh trial.
On Monday, however, a county district attorney stated that there was not sufficient evidence to launch a criminal investigation. Amy Palumbo, the district judge for Oklahoma County, issued an order on Tuesday concluding that Mr. Simmons was entirely innocent. “The court finds by clear and persuasive evidence that the offence for which Mr. Simmons was convicted, sentenced, and imprisoned… was not committed by Mr. Simmons,” she stated in a ruling. “This court concludes that Mr. Simmons was not responsible for the offence.”
After the verdict was made, Mr. Simmons reportedly told reporters, “It’s a lesson in persistence and perseverance,” as reported by the Associated Press. “Do not allow anyone to convince you that it is impossible, since it is true that it is possible.”
The murder of Carolyn Sue Rogers, which occurred during a robbery of a liquor shop in a suburb of Oklahoma City, was the crime for which Mr. Simmons had served a total of 48 years, one month, and 18 days in prison. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, this makes him the inmate who has been cleared after serving the longest amount of time in prison.
In the year 1975, Mr. Simmons and Don Roberts, who was also a co-defendant, were found guilty and condemned to death. Mr. Simmons was 22 years old at the time. In the end, the punishments were lowered to life in prison as a result of decisions made by the Supreme Court of the United States on the death penalty.
During the time of the murder, Mr. Simmons had stated that he was in the state of Louisiana, which is his home state. After discovering that the prosecution had failed to present defence attorneys with all of the evidence, including the information that a witness had previously mentioned other suspects, a district court vacated his sentence during the month of July. This was due to the truth that the prosecution had failed to provide all of the evidence.
The evidence of a young person who had been shot in the back of the head was a significant factor in the conviction of Mr. Simmons and Mr. Roberts. For the duration of the police line-ups, the young man pointed to a number of other males. In 2008, Mr. Roberts was granted parole and later released.
In the state of Oklahoma, individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and are now serving time are eligible for compensation of up to $175,000 (£138,000). According to Mr. Simmons’s GoFundMe page, he is now undergoing treatment for liver cancer. The campaign has successfully gathered thousands of dollars to assist with his living expenses and chemotherapy.