Man Regains Freedom After Wrongfully Spending 48 Years In US Prison


Man Regains Freedom After Wrongfully Spending 48 Years In US Prison

An Oklahoma judge has acquitted a man who spent nearly fifty years in prison for a 1974 mu-rder, marking the longest wrongful sentence served in the US.

Glynn Simmons, aged 70, regained his freedom in July after a judge sanctioned a new trial.

However, a county district attorney stated on Monday that insufficient evidence existed to justify a retrial.

In a recent ruling, Oklahoma County District Judge Amy Palumbo officially declared Mr. Simmons as innocent.

“This court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the offence for which Mr Simmons was convicted, sentenced and imprisoned… was not committed by Mr Simmons,” she said in a ruling.

“It’s a lesson in resilience and tenacity,” Mr Simmons told reporters after the decision, according to the Associated Press. “Don’t let nobody tell you that it can’t happen, because it really can.”

After serving 48 years, one month, and 18 days in prison for the murder of Carolyn Sue Rogers during a liquor store robbery in an Oklahoma City suburb, Mr. Simmons emerges as the longest-serving inmate cleared, as per the National Registry of Exoneration.

At 22 years old, Mr. Simmons, along with co-defendant Don Roberts, was convicted and initially sentenced to death in 1975, later commuted to life imprisonment due to US Supreme Court rulings against the death penalty.

Maintaining his innocence, Mr. Simmons asserted he was in his home state of Louisiana during the time of the murder.

In July, a district court annulled his sentence, citing prosecutors’ failure to disclose all evidence to the defense, notably a witness identifying other suspects.

Testimony from a teenager, who had sustained a gunshot wound to the back of the head, contributed to the convictions of Mr. Simmons and Mr. Roberts. This witness, during police line-ups, had pointed to several other men.