National News

Vincent Simmons Freed after 44 years in Louisiana Prison: Judge Ruled Unfair Trial in 1977

By: Elena Hayes

After 44 years in Prison, Vincent Simmons walks away as a free man from the Louisiana State Penitentiary, where he was serving a 100 year sentence.

Vincent Simmons was 25 years old when he was convicted of attempted aggravated rape of 14 year old twin sisters Karen and Sharon Sanders back in 1977. The twins accused Mr. Simmons of stealing their older cousin's car and driving down a deserted road in which he committed the violent rape of both sisters. Mr. Simmons has been advocating for himself and his innocence ever since his conviction, insisting it never happened. Specifically, that he was never given a fair trial, which he has petitioned with the court 16 times over the years.

Mr. Simmons and his lawyer provided evidence to the court, such as medical records from the coroner stating no evidence of sexual assault and a picture showing Mr. Simmons in a police line up with handcuffs. They also mentioned the importance of the twins sisters initial response, which was not being able to identity him or recall his name. All of the evidence that was used in his current hearing has been around since the 70s, which makes it that much harder to understand why so many Judges have dismissed the case over the years.

However, in February 2022, a Judge ruled in Vincent Simmons' favor, for the very first time in 30 years. He stated “I find that the time limitations have been overcome by the allegations of new evidence and in the interest of justice. There has been a constitutional violation and his civil rights have been violated. He did not get a fair trial.” That Judge happened to be the son of a previous Judge, who denied Mr. Simmons' request in the past.

After the ruling, the prosecution stood up and indicated they do not intend to retry Mr. Simmons. The district attorney claimed “44 years is enough,” and the Sanders sisters agreed.

However, the twins proclaim they still have faith - there will come a day when Simmons must face God on judgment day, and he will stand guilty. The sisters stay firm in their beliefs of what happened to them and still believe with confidence, Simmons did this.

For Vincent Simmons, he has relied heavily on his faith as well. In a documentary titled ''Shadows of Doubt'' filmed in 1999, he shared “I asked God years ago to remove the anger, anger is a disease that could destroy you. I have my faith in God '' In 2022 he claims he has forgiven the twins a long time ago, and he truly means it. He has chosen forgiveness and he is “not mad at all.”

Whether he was innocent or not? The judge wouldn’t answer that- but what we do know is that Vincent Simmons was never given a fair trial and that is every American's born given right and promise under the constitution of the united states.

For more information and more details on the case - Check out:

Youtube- CBS Mornings- “Man convicted of attempted rape fights for new trial as victims speak”

Youtube- “Shadows of Doubt” Documentary