Longest Serving Inmate to Be Declared Innocent Exonerated After 50 Years in Prison

Glynn Simmons, a 71-year-old man who spent nearly 50 years in prison for murder, has been exonerated, making him the longest serving inmate to be declared innocent of a crime, Ken Miller reports for the Associated Press. Simmons was declared innocent and released in July after prosecutors agreed that key evidence in his case was not turned over to his defense lawyers. Simmons has maintained his innocence, saying he was in Louisiana at the time of the 1974 slaying of Carolyn Sue Rogers inside an Edmond liquor store. He and co-defendant Don Roberts were both convicted in 1975 of the murder and initially sentenced to death. Their sentences were reduced to life in prison in 1977 after U.S. Supreme Court rulings related to capital punishment. Roberts was released on parole in 2008. 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 his arrest and conviction. 

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