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Prisoner cleared of murder after nearly five decades

Prisoner cleared of murder after nearly five decades Photo: Prisoner cleared of murder after nearly five decades (GettyImages)

Glynn Simmons, an American prisoner, has been declared innocent after wrongfully serving 48 years in jail on a murder charge, the longest wrongful sentence ever served in the US, according to The Telegraph.

Simmons, now 70, was convicted in 1975 for the murder of Carolyn Sue Rogers in a liquor store robbery. A recent investigation revealed that crucial evidence was withheld during his trial, including a witness identification of other suspects.

He was released in July pending a new trial, and Oklahoma District Judge Amy Palumbo officially acquitted him, ruling that no new trial was needed.

"This is a day we've been waiting on for a long, long time. We can say justice was done today, finally," he said following Judge Palumbo's ruling.

This exoneration makes Simmons the longest-imprisoned US inmate to be cleared of charges. The ruling entitles him to compensation and opens the possibility of a federal lawsuit against those involved in his arrest and conviction.

Prisoner cleared of murder after nearly five decadesGlynn Simmons (Photo: The Telegraph)

In Oklahoma, individuals who have been wrongfully convicted can receive compensation of up to $175,000 (£138,000).

Mr. Simmons has gathered nearly $75,000 (£59,000) through an online fundraiser to support his transition back into society.

"I plan to use my remaining time to help others who are still stuck where I was," Simmons said.

Judicial error

The case began with the murder of Carolyn Sue Rogers in December 1974, leading to the arrest and conviction of Simmons and co-defendant Don Roberts.

Doubts about the conviction emerged when it was revealed that the key eyewitness had identified multiple suspects, and the prosecutor himself questioned the conviction's reliability. The case was re-examined, uncovering the failure to disclose all evidence during the original trial, leading to Simmons' release and subsequent exoneration.

Simmons' experience highlights issues of judicial error and the importance of fair trials in the criminal justice system.