U.S. judge Exonerates Glynn Simmons after 48 years on death row

U.S. judge Exonerates Glynn Simmons after 48 years on death row

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U.S. judge Exonerates Glynn Simmons after 48 years on death row

Glynn Simmons says his time in prison is a “lesson in resilience and tenacity”. Image: NEWS9, OKLAHOMA CITY KWTV


U.S. judge Exonerates Glynn Simmons after 48 years on death row.

A man serving the longest recorded wrongful sentence in the United States was recently exonerated by an Oklahoma judge after being wrongfully convicted of a murder and imprisoned for 48 years.

In July, a district judge freed 70-year-old Glynn Simmons after ruling that his defense attorneys had not been given access to critical evidence in their case.

A county district attorney stated on Monday that further evidence was insufficient to justify a new trial.

Judge Amy Palumbo pronounced Mr. Simmons innocent in a Tuesday order.

“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,” the Oklahoma County District Judge Palumbo stated in her order.

“It’s a lesson in resilience and tenacity,” Mr. Simmons told reporters following the ruling, as reported by the Associated Press. “Don’t let nobody tell you that it can’t happen, because it really can.”

After killing Carolyn Sue Rogers in 1974 during a liquor shop robbery in a suburb of Oklahoma City, Mr. Simmons spent 48 years, 1 month, and 18 days behind bars.

Both Mr. Simmons and his co-defendant, Don Roberts, were sentenced to death in 1975 after being found guilty. Mr. Simmons was 22 years old at the time.

After the US Supreme Court ruled against the death penalty, the sentences were later commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mr. Simmons has consistently asserted his innocence, claiming to have been in his native Louisiana when the crime occurred.

Upon Tuesday’s verdict of innocence, Mr. Simmons grinned.

Mr. Simmons, who was wearing a grey hooded sweater and fedora, spoke softly as he informed reporters that he had been anticipating this moment for what seemed like an eternity.

“What’s been done can’t be undone, but there can be accountability,” according to him.

Because prosecutors failed to provide defense attorneys with all relevant material, including the fact that a witness had named more suspects, a district judge in July overturned his sentence.

A witness who had been shot in the back of the head testified against Mr. Simmons and Mr. Roberts, which contributed to their conviction.

According to the National Registry of Exonerations, the adolescent initially contradicted her own statements and then pointed to multiple guys during police line-ups.

Parole was lifted in 2008 and Mr. Roberts was released.

Oklahoma law allows wrongfully convicted individuals serving time to seek compensation of up to $175,000 (£138,000).

According to his GoFundMe page, which has garnered thousands of dollars to cover Mr. Simmons’s living expenses and chemotherapy, he is now fighting liver cancer.

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