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A Louisiana man is out of prison after 44 years. His name is Vincent Simmons.
Simmons was convicted of attempted aggravated rape of twin Caucasian 14-year-old girls in 1977. From the onset, he’s maintained his innocence while the accusers have maintained his guilt.
According to court records, the original trial occurred 60 days after the allegation. Simmons was convicted in mere minutes of deliberation by a nearly all-White jury.
A White woman accusing a Black male of sexual misconduct. A story as old as America. From Emmett Till to Vincent Simmons, this heinous accusation has infected our society, causing White men to revolt in mass or hand down harsh sentences.
Simmons served time at Louisiana State Penitentiary, a maximum-security prison nicknamed “Angola” after the former plantation that once occupied its land.
Riddle said in a court statement that despite believing there was “sufficient evidence to find Vincent Simmons guilty,” he didn’t want the victims “to undergo the trauma of another trial” or be victimized again.
Even still, D.A. Riddle said he believed there was enough evidence to convict Simmons again. However, he asked “for what purpose” would he make the women go through another trial?
Riddle also reiterated the fact that this decision does not mean Simmons is innocent, saying, “just in case anyone has any doubt, no this is not a declaration of innocence at all.”
When asked for comment, one of the sisters said, “We’re tired. We want it behind us,” according to KALB. “He went in guilty, he’s still guilty and he’ll die guilty.”
Much like former Governor of Alabama, George Wallace, these women will not be budged from their beliefs.
Still, the Smmons family and friends experienced a cathartic explosion of bliss after hearing there would be no new trial.
Simmons’ only uttered words were, “God, God kept the faith for me.”