Murphy Hokey Law

February 29, 2024

Oklahoma judge rules a man who wrongfully spent nearly 50 years in prison for murder is innocent

A person from Oklahoma city named Glynn Simmons aged 71 years is exonerated by judge after spending 50 years in prison in charges of murder being the longest serving inmate to be declared innocent of a crime.

He was released in July when prosecutors agreed to the evidences provided by the defense lawyers that proved him innocent on Tuesday. According to the Oklahoma County District Amy Palumbo said that “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.”

As per the data released by The National Registry of Exonerations, Simmons had previously served 48 years, one month and 18 days since his conviction that made him the longest imprisoned U.S. inmate to be exonerated.

Simmons said during a brief that it is a lesson in resilience and tenacity. He maintained his innocence by saying he was in Louisiana at the time of the 1974 slaying of Carolyn Sue Rogers inside an Edmond liquor store.

Palumbo in July ordered  new trial for Simmons when District Attorney Vicki Behenna said prosecutors had failed to turn over evidence in the case, including a police report that showed an eyewitness might have identified other suspects in the case.

A spokesperson for Behenna declined immediate comment on Wednesday. The ruling makes Simmons eligible for up to $175,000 in compensation from the state for wrongful conviction and opens the door for a federal lawsuit against Oklahoma City and law enforcement involved in Simmons’ arrest and conviction, defense attorney Joe Norwood said Wednesday.

Compensation, though, is likely years away, Norwood said and Simmons is currently living on donations while undergoing treatment for cancer that was detected after his release from prison.

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