– Willie Simmons, a veteran of the United States army has been languishing in prison for the past 38 years of his life
– Simmons was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for stealing $9 (N3430) in 1982
– Social media users have recently launched a campaign collating signatures seeking his release
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The year 1982 will remain a sad one in the memories of Willie Simmons.
The black-American was in that year prosecuted and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole by an Alabama judge on the grounds that he robbed someone of his $9 (which is N3430 in value at present). His prosecution was said to be in line with Alabama’s habitual offender laws.
Black Enterprise reports that Simmons, US army veteran, had a physical struggle and exchange with a young man and made way with his wallet containing the amount he was convicted for after pinning his victim to the ground.
Black man imprisoned for life for stealing N3K in 1982 cries out for help
Photo Credit: Bettmann, @bshelburne on Twitter
Source: Getty Images
Simmons, who became addicted to drugs while stationed outside of the US, robbed the man in an attempt to get what he described to reporters as “a quick fix.” He was caught by policemen who were around the environment of the robbery scene.
The Alabama man, who prior to his sentence had three convictions, told reporters that the trial that led to his sentence had no witnesses and surprisingly lasted only 25 minutes.
The prosecutors, in his narration, also didn’t offer him an opportunity to plea despite that his previous three convictions were non-violent, with all of his appeals in the past 38 years proving abortive.
Perhaps, hope may be on the horizon for the army man as an activist Makehru Bradley recently started a campaign with a target of getting 4.5 million signatures to move the hands of justice Governor Kay Ivey to commute Simmons.
So far the petition campaign on Change.org has garnered over 3 million signatures.
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Meanwhile, Bioreports earlier reported that Shehu Sani had recalled how he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1995 by Abacha regime.
The former Kaduna federal lawmaker recalled how he shared the same space with Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’adua, who later died in the prison.
According to him, weeks after Obasanjo was brought in. Also, prominent activist, Beko Ransome Kuti, and journalists like Kunle Ajibade of The News Magazine, George Mbah of Tell magazine, Ben Charles Obi of Classique were all interrogated.
Victor Duru is a Bioreports journalist with more than three years of working experience in the media industry. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies from Imo State University, where he was a Students’ Union Government Director of Information. Victor is a Human Interest Editor, Strategic Content Creator and a Google-certified Digital Marketer. Connect with him on Twitter @DuruCVictor2