Glynn Simmons, the man found innocent after nearly half a century in prison

A 71-year-old man was found not guilty after his death last Tuesday in the state of Oklahoma, USA almost 50 years behind bars for a murder he never committed. Glynn Simmons, an African American, was the person who spent the longest time in prison in U.S. history before being acquitted, according to the U.S. National Registry of Excuses.

He and another man, Don Roberts, were sentenced to death in 1975. for the murder of a 30-year-old liquor store employee during a robbery in Edmond, a city in the state of Oklahoma. The sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.

The conviction of the two men was based on the simple testimony of one of the store’s customers, a teenager who was shot in the head during the robbery but survived. The teenager said she recognized her during the identification interviewbut a subsequent investigation called their claims into question because the two men had stated during the trial that they were not in Oklahoma on the day of the murder.

Glynn Simmons was released the following July 48 years, one month and 18 days in prison and was found not guilty Tuesday by an Oklahoma court, which overturned his conviction. The other man convicted in the case, Don Roberts, was released in 2008, according to the U.S. National Registry of Exonerations.

“It’s a day we’ve been waiting for for a long time,” Simmons told reporters. “We can say that today justice has finally been served”. The former mistaken prisoner is now entitled to compensation. “What’s done is done, but we must be held accountable,” he concluded.

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