The Line Up
My case is a 27-year story book but I will share briefly with you some of actual details about me and my case.
My name is Vincent Alfred Simmons Jr. I am a black Afro-American. I am from a small town called Monsuro, Louisiana 71350. Here in the deep south of the State of Louisiana. I am innocent of the charges I was falsely arrested, charged, indicted, tried and convicted for.
On May 23rd, 1977, I was arrested in the town of Marksville, LA 71351, Parish of Avayelles, State of Louisiana. I was placed in handcuffs and put in this police car. Taken to the Avayelles Parish jail. Upon arriving there, I was taken to a physical line up, see above photo of line up.
According to the police, I was allegedly identified as the alleged rapist. I was taken to another section of this jail, to this detective office. Upon arriving there, I was told by these two arresting officers that I was going to give them of how I committed the crime. I told them I was not giving any statement because I didn’t rape anybody.
Still in hand cuffs one of the police officers hit me and knocked me down to the floor and commenced to kick me. I managed to get back to my feet. When asked was I ready to talk? I again refused. This officer then groped me and I grabbed him and held him in an attempt to shield myself from further assaults. This officers partner, that was in the room with us, called out to his partner to move! His partner pushed me against the wall when I look up after balancing my self. I was looking down the barrel of this gun! I heard the shot, and felt the burning in my chest. The shock! I experienced I will never forget. I hit the floor, hollering for water to put the fire/burning in my chest out.
I prayed and asked “God” not to let me die like this. I experienced my soul traveling out of my body, it went to this place, I call “heaven”, there was other souls calling my name welcoming me to heaven. This place was well lit, bright glowing lights, golden city, flowers, water, and this bridge. I had to cross to enter. As my name was being shouted/repeated my soul was drowned toward this bridge, before I reach the other side of the bridge one of the other souls stepped out and blocked my
path, and told me those words, “Son it is not your time to enter.” Touched me in the center of my head, and sent me back into my body. When I re-entered my body I was laying in a hospital room where my mother and a Catholic priest was sitting praying.
When the police department found out I had survived, they immediately came got me and transported me back to the jail.
I remember talking to two white guys, who claimed to be lawyers appointed by the court, as me did I have $50,000 dollars. If so they would represent me and free me at the Preliminary hearing. I told them I didn’t have that kind of money. They then asked me if I wanted to plead Guilty to the charges. I cursed them out, and told them I didn’t rape anybody. The next time I saw these two lawyers I was on trial.
I was still suffering from the gunshot wound in my chest. So that had a great effect on my thinking at the time. The lawyers really didn’t talk to me, but once before the trial. The only evidence they had was the victim’s testimony and their alleged cousins. And those testimonies were perjury lies. I knew there was something wrong when the District Attorney assistant district attorney and my attorney made a motion to approach the bench. They all went up to the judge’s desk, and talk in (Secret). Then when they walked away the judge talk all the officers who were involved in the case and had been called as witnesses were released from subpoena duty.
I was subsequently “found guilty” by this all white jury, one alternative jury who was black.
The lies that were told to the trial jury by the alleged victims and their cousins were when the District Attorney asked each of them, do you see the person that raped you in the courtroom? (A) Yes, can you point him out? (A) Yes. Question, How do you know that is the person who raped you? (A) He told me/us his name was Simmons, while raping us.
The jury believed their perjured testimony.
I was sentenced to 100 years 50/50 on each charge. I was immediately transferred to the Louisiana State Penitentiary on my way to Angola, the two police officers who were transporting me pull off the road. Three separate times trying to get me to get out of the car and run. Each time I refused to get out of the car. They gave up and drove me here to the prison.
When I arrived here at the prison, I was immediately placed in a maximum-security one-man cell, cell (CCR) close cell restriction.
I had repeated nightmares of being beaten and shot by these two police officers. I was still suffering from the bullet wound. The bullet was still in my back under the skin which consistently caused me excruciating pain.
I made continued complaints to the medical doctors here at the prison before they removed the bullet from my back her at the prison.
I continued to have severe nightmares. Someone on the tier I was on came to me and gave me a prayer and told me to repeat it seven times each night before I went to sleep. I complied and eventually the nightmares went away. I know I was disturbing the inmates in the other cells down from me because they would tell me about it the next day. I knew I was innocent! I needed to prove it. The only way I could do it, I had to find out what those police officers and the State District Attorneys had on me.
I started inquiring from other inmates on the tier, what I could do to get the police reports, statements, and other evidence. I was told I had to write the police department that arrested me.
That I had to write to the District Attorney and the clerk in the Parish where I was convicted. I then started writing letters to these officials requesting police reports, statements of the victims, medical reports, pictures, arrest reports, warrants, and lights forms. Each time I submitted my request, I was denied.
I then went to the law books searching for answers to all the questions. Many answers came but no immediate results. I continued to make my requests for that information, and the state repeatedly denied me the information I sought. The years continued to pass and I continued to learn about the law.
I then filed suit in the court where I was convicted seeking access to that information. The courts still denied me access to that information saying that the law said I was not entitled to the information. I appealed that decision and the higher court affirmed the lower courts denial, but one justice agreed that I should be given that information. I then used that judgment to appeal to the higher court. Two years later that court denied. In the mean time, I have been here in prison 5 years.
I am still trying to find out how to get access to the district attorney’s files. The prison officials then started focusing in on me, moving me from one place to another. A form of distraction. I ended up at camp J after moving me around loosing my legal material, intentionally, and working in concert with the Sheriff and District Attorney’s of Avayelles Parish Marksville, LA.
Being determined to prove my innocence I continued to search for a way to get the information I needed. There was no one reliable in the family I could depend on who had the business sense to help me.
Ten years had passed; I still didn’t get my hands on this information. Then one day, I was sitting in the cell and someone outside on the yard called my name. I answered. He said, “I have a case where the court says the District Attorney files is Public Record. I told him to send me the case”. He sent me the case. I then made another request with the District Attorney’s office. That request was ignored. I then filed a law suit and attached this court ruling out of New Orleans. I filed it into the civil district court in the parish where I was convicted. The court then ordered the District Attorney to show cause by December 7th, 1993. Before that date arrived, I received a big brown envelope from the State District Attorney’s office.
What was in this brown envelope, shocked me, and brought tears to my eyes.
There was the following documents to wit:
1. copy of investigative reports
2. copy of police arrest reports
3. copy of victims statements
4. copy of arrest warrants
5. copy of medical examiners report
6. copy of physical line up photo’s
7. copy of Bill of indictments.
No where in the victims statements did they say the alleged rapist told them his name was Simmons. They told the police their alleged rapist told them his name was Jessie James.
The medical doctors said that he found no bruises, scars and that one of the alleged victim’s hymen was still in tact. That the other alleged victim he found no bruises, no scars, and that she had a venereal disease. She told him that the last time she had had sex was nine months ago with a Robert Jackson. That she had been raped by a person named Vincent Simmons on May 9th, 1977.
But this is no where in her investigative statement.
In the police arrest report, it says while investigating a reported rape of two white female’s 14 years of age by a black man.
We decided to arrest Vincent Simmons, a Black man and charge him with the rapes. This happened on May 23rd, 1977.
On May 22nd, 1977, the rapes were reported. The only name given to the police of the alleged rapist was Jessie James. Not even 24 hours later I was stopped, arrested, put in a line up, allegedly identified, beaten, and shot. There is no evidence connecting me to this crime, and no one said Vincent Simmons did them anything.
The police, the district attorney’s and the alleged victims know I am not the man that raped them. They are lying to protect the police who shot me, that is attempted murder on my life. They had no probable cause to even arrest me. They committed perjury at the trial. None of the police testified at the trial because they knew the truth would come out if they testified.
The two lawyers that were appointed to represent me were working with the state District Attorney to send me to prison so that they would cover up and protect what the police did to me. Now the Assistant District that help prosecutors are in 1977 have rose to become a Louisiana State Supreme Court justice. She is using her corrupted influence to keep my case from being heard.
Despite what the United States Supreme court said in the case of Kyle v. Whitley supra Brady v. Maryland, supra, Auger v. United States, supra Baglay v. United States, supra Nuper v Illinois, supra
They are using a procedural bar. La. c. cr. f. Art. 9:30.8, State v. Glover to keep my case from being heard. Yet any cases of newly discovered evidence where the evidence calls into question, the credibility of the evidence. Other inmates all over the country is receiving new trial, especially where there is evidence that the jury didn’t review to determine the weigh thereof.
The 1974, Louisiana’s constitution, Article 1 “Due process of Law,” – Section 2.
“No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property except by due process of law”.
Was I deprived of due process of law guaranteed by the above constitution, in your opinion?
Section 3. “Right to individual dignity”
“No person shall be deprived the equal protection of the laws. No law shall discriminate against a person because of race or religious ideas, beliefs, or affiliation. No law shall arbitrarily capriciously or unreasonably discriminate against a person because of birth, age, sex, culture, physical conditions, or political ideas or affiliations. Slavery and in voluntary servitude are prohibited except in the later case as punishment for crime."
In your opinion, Lee, have and/or am I being denied the equal protections of the laws.
All these things are being done to innocent people here in the deep south of Louisiana because there is no one her to expose, fight and create laws and enforce those laws to punish these polititions, law makers, court officials, District Attorneys, Lawyers, etc.
They are a big corrupted racist and unjust pile of shit. Not until there is created an independent group of people to investigate and based on their findings recommend sanctions and enforce criminal sanctions. This world in which we have is headed toward destruction our United States government, is advocating human treatment, equal protection and democracy, attacking other countries for violating the human rights of those countries people. When right here in the United States we are under abuse violations and murder.
© Copyright 2003 Vincent A. Simmons, Jr.
Vincent Simmons #85188
LA State Prison Farm
Angola, La 70712
Another Vincent Simmons Site
A documentary about Vincent
Another Documentary about Vincent
Poem for the “propaganda” by Leon Benson, inspired by Gary Graham’s last words (2000), dedicated to Vincent Simmons (7-3-2003)