After 48 years in prison, a 70-year-old man is exonerated by a US court


A judge in Oklahoma has overturned the wrongful conviction of a man who had been incarcerated for an uncommitted homicide for the longest period of time ever recorded in the United States.

In July, Glynn Simmons, 70 years old, was released following a district court ruling that determined his defense attorneys were not provided with critical evidence in his case.

A county district attorney stated on Monday that insufficient evidence did not qualify for a retrial.

Tuesday, Judge Amy Palumbo rendered an order declaring Mr. Simmons innocent.

In her judgment, Oklahoma County District Judge Palumbo stated, “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 the Associated Press, Mr. Simmons told reporters following the decision, “It’s a lesson in perseverance and resilience.” “Refrain from allowing anyone to affirm its impossibility; it is in fact possible.”

Mr Simmons was convicted of the 1974 homicide of Carolyn Sue Rogers during a liquor store larceny in an Oklahoma City suburb. He was sentenced to 48 years, one month, and 18 days in prison.

Mr. Simmons and co-defendant Don Roberts were convicted and sentenced to death in 1975 when they were both 22 years old.

The sentences were subsequently commuted to life imprisonment as a result of decisions rendered by the United States Supreme Court concerning the death penalty.

Mr. Simmons maintained his innocence, claiming that he was at the time of the murder in his native state of Louisiana.

On Tuesday, as the court pronounced Mr. Simmons innocent, he exhibited a grin. Later, while dressed in a fedora and grey hooded sweater, a soft-spoken Mr. Simmons revealed to the press that he had “long, long, waited” for this occasion.

“While it may be impossible to undo past actions, accountability is possible,” he asserted.

In July, the district court overturned his sentence on the grounds that prosecutors failed to provide defense attorneys with all evidence, including the identification of additional suspects by a witness that was withheld.

The convictions of Mr. Simmons and Mr. Roberts were aided by the testimony of an adolescent who had suffered a posterior head wound. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, the adolescent subsequently contradicted a portion of her own testimony and pointed to a number of other males during police line-ups.

In 2008, Mr. Roberts was granted parole.

Individuals serving time in Oklahoma who have been wrongfully convicted are eligible for compensation of up to $175,000 (£138,000).

Mr. Simmons is presently dealing with liver cancer, as stated on his GoFundMe page. Thousands of dollars have been donated to assist with his chemotherapy expenses and daily living.