Man Exonerated After Nearly 50 Years Behind Bars

Man Exonerated After Nearly 50 Years Behind Bars

( – An Oklahoma man has been exonerated and released from prison after serving decades years for a murder he did not commit. Glynn Simmons and Don Roberts were convicted of murdering Carolyn Sue Rogers at a liquor store in the Sooner State in 1975, but Simmons has consistently maintained that he was in Louisiana at the time.

The courts initially sentenced the two defendants to death, but this was reduced to life imprisonment two years later. Don Roberts got out on parole in 2008, but Simmons remained incarcerated until his release earlier this year.

In July, Oklahoma County District Judge Amy Palumbo ordered a retrial after District Attorney Vicki Behenna revealed to her that prosecutors in the original case failed to hand over crucial evidence to the defense team, including a police report recording witnesses identifying someone else as the killer.

District Attorney Behenna, having reviewed the case in September, said there was no physical evidence linking Mr. Simmons to the murder and, therefore, a retrial was unnecessary, and he should be released. Judge Palumbo said, “This court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the offense for which Mr. Simmons was convicted, sentenced, and imprisoned was not committed by Mr. Simmons.”

According to reports, the 71-year-old said his story is a “lesson in resilience and tenacity” and should remind wrongly convicted prisoners that it is never too late and they should not give up hope. The Oklahoma native is currently living from GoFundMe donations, according to his attorney, but he is eligible for a payment of up to $175,000 for wrongful conviction and is considering a lawsuit against the state and the authorities involved in his arrest and subsequent withholding of evidence.

According to the National Registry of Exonerations, Mr. Simmons is America’s longest-serving wrongly convicted prisoner, having been incarcerated for 48 years, one month, and 18 days. In second place is Anthony Mazza, who spent 47 years and two months in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

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