Oklahoma Man Wrongfully Imprisoned for 48 Years Receives Mere $175,000 Compensation

oklahoma-man-wrongfully-imprisoned-for-48-years-receives-mere-175000-compensation

After serving the longest prison term in American history—48 years—for a 1975 murder accusation, Glynn Simmons, now 71 years old, was found not guilty.

His recent release is the result of a protracted fight for justice, which led to his exoneration. Asserting his innocence time and time again, Simmons says he was in Louisiana when Carolyn Sue Rogers, an Oklahoma liquor store clerk, was shot and killed.

A crucial witness who first recognized Simmons in a lineup but then provided testimony that contradicted some of her own was the main source of evidence used in the prosecution against Simmons. 

Simmons was convicted in 1975 and initially given the death penalty despite the testimony of twelve other people who claimed Simmons was in Louisiana at the time of the murder. As a result of decisions made by the Supreme Court, this term was eventually reduced to life in prison.

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DA’s Admission Leads to Freedom but Meager Compensation for Exonerated Man

oklahoma-man-wrongfully-imprisoned-for-48-years-receives-mere-175000-compensation
After serving the longest prison term in American history—48 years—for a 1975 murder accusation, Glynn Simmons, now 71 years old, was found not guilty.

District Attorney Vicki Behenna’s admission that important evidence had not been given to Simmons’ defense team resulted in a reassessment of the case and new developments. 

This contained a police report that said the witness initially recognized Don Roberts and Simmons as co-defendants after correctly identifying a number of other suspects in several lineups. The investigation was made more difficult by the lack of tangible evidence at the crime scene.

Simmons had defended his innocence for years, but his case was reopened and a fresh trial was mandated. But in the end, the District Attorney’s office declined to retry him, citing a dearth of tangible evidence. Simmons was therefore determined to be qualified for state compensation for wrongful conviction, up to a maximum of $175,000. 

Simmons, however, is reliant on a GoFundMe effort to cover his living and medical bills, particularly for his underway liver cancer treatment, while this money is anticipated to be paid after a significant delay. With a $50,000 goal, the campaign has already raised more than $37,000.

 

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