In a historic turn of events, Glynn Simmons, a 71-year-old man from the US state of Oklahoma, has been declared innocent after spending an astonishing 48 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. The National Registry of Exonerations notes that Mr. Simmons holds the record for the longest time served by an innocent inmate in US history.

In a recent article by The New York Times, Released in July, Mr. Simmons had spent a total of 48 years, one month, and 18 days behind bars. Initially sentenced to death in 1975, alongside another man, Don Roberts, for the murder of a 30-year-old liquor store clerk during a 1974 robbery in Edmond, Oklahoma, their sentences were later commuted to life in prison.

The convictions were primarily based on the testimony of a teenage customer who survived a gunshot to the head during the robbery. She identified Simmons and Roberts in a police lineup, but subsequent investigations raised substantial doubts about the reliability of her identifications. Both men had consistently maintained that they were not in Oklahoma at the time of the murder.

US District Court Judge Amy Palumbo overturned Mr. Simmons’ conviction in July and officially declared his innocence at a hearing in Oklahoma County District Court on Tuesday.

“This is a day we’ve been waiting on for a long, long time,” expressed Mr. Simmons to reporters. “We can say justice was done today, finally.”

While Don Roberts had been released from prison in 2008, Mr. Simmons may now be eligible for compensation. Reflecting on the ordeal, he emphasized the importance of accountability: “What’s been done can’t be undone, but there could be accountability. That’s what I’m about right now. Accountability,” stated Mr. Simmons.



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