It’s been more than four decades since Vincent Simmons has had a birthday cake — candles to blow out and make a wish. Simmons entered prison in 1977, when he was just 25 years old. He walked out three days before his 70th birthday.
“What’s it like, being out of prison?” “48 Hours” contributor and CBS Mornings lead national correspondent David Begnaud asked Simmons.
“Oh, man. It’s a joy that is unexplainable, really,” he replied.
One of the first things Simmons did as a free man was leave the state of Louisiana and everything it represents for him.
Begnaud asked, “Do you want to go back?”
“No. Don’t wanna go back,” Simmons said. “I don’t have nothing in Louisiana, nothing but pain and suffering. … So why would I wanna go back there, you know? I’m good.”
A judge vacated Simmons’ convictions for attempted aggravated rape of twin sisters Karen and Sharon Sanders. The judge ruled that Vincent did not get a fair trial – he did not make a finding though as to whether or not Simmons is innocent or guilty. His current attorney, Justin Bonus, says there was never any physical evidence.
“There’s no hairs, no fibers, no blood, no sweat, no semen. There’s nothing,” Bonus said.
Since his release, Simmons has been enjoying catching up on everything he’s missed. So much has changed since 1977.
“Ooh, man. … New technology. I’m just like a little baby, got to learn,” Simmons said as he studied a cellphone.
But it is all joyful.
“What are the simple things that you enjoy now?” Begnaud asked.
“Breathing the free air … walking outside … basically it’s freedom … to just enjoy the moment,” said Simmons.
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