He was released as an innocent man after spending 48 years in prison: “He is not the murderer of the store.”

A huge mistake. After 48 years in prison, he was acquitted and released, he was “innocent”. African-American Glynn Simmons was convicted of murdering a liquor store clerk in Oklahoma (USA) when he was only 22 years old, and was released because he was 70 years old. He will receive compensation of 175 thousand dollars. That’s about $10 for every day wrongfully spent behind bars. He is now free only “by chance” because a meticulous judge read two pages of that old conviction and found no clear evidence. He was framed based on the testimony of a young woman who was injured during the robbery and thought he was the real killer.

In prison for a record time

Simmons spent a record amount of time in prison. No one had ever been released to the United States after being imprisoned for 48 years, one month and ten days. “It’s a lesson in perseverance,” he commented: “Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t happen, because it can.” For Glynn Simmons, it was the end of an almost lifelong nightmare. He was now found innocent by the decision of Judge Amy Palumbo in Oklahoma County District Court, but He was released on bail in July. “We have clear and unequivocal evidence that Mr. Simmons did not commit the crime,” Palumbo wrote in the decision.

All stages

Simmons was sentenced to death for the 1974 murder of Carolyn Sue Rogers and wounding another woman at a liquor store. Prosecutors had said the surviving victim identified Simmons during the “standoff,” but they never told the jury or defense attorneys that the victim also identified other people in the same incident.

In 1977, by decision of the United States Supreme Court, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. In July, upon a favorable opinion from Prosecutor Behenna, Judge Amy Palumbo overturned the death penalty, ordered a new trial, and ordered Simmons released on bail. On September 11, 2023, Behenna announced that he did not intend to retry the case and would request that the case be dismissed.

“The district attorney determined that the state could not meet its burden at trial and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Simmons was responsible for the murder of Ms. Rogers,” he said in a press release. He said there was no longer any physical evidence in the case, witnesses and detectives were dead or could not be reached, and “the defense maintains that the alternative suspect was identified at one of the shootings.” On September 19, Judge Palumbo accepted Prosecutor Behenna’s request and formalized the acquittal.

Simmons became the 195th person in the last 50 years to be exonerated after being sentenced to death; He is the 11th person in Oklahoma.

Now he has cancer

But in any case, there is no happy ending, and the adjective “happy” can also be used in this story of terrible injustice. Now that he is free, Simmons will have to undergo treatment for the liver cancer he was diagnosed with in the meantime. Thousands of dollars have been raised on GoFundMe to help him support his “new” life as a free man and chemotherapy.

Source: Today IT

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