Alabama man freed from prison 36 years into life sentence for stealing $50

A judge has ordered an Alabama man should be freed from prison, 36 years after he was sentenced to life without parole for stealing $50.

Alvin Kennardwas sentenced to life without parole in 1983 for stealing US$50 from a bakery in a robbery during which nobody was injured.

Accounting for inflation, the amount stolen was equivalent to US$128.80 (NZ$203.02)

The high sentence was due to Alabama's three-strikes law. At the time of his arrest, Kennard had three prior felony convictions for a break-in at an unoccupied gas station. 

He was just 22 years old then. Now, at age 58, he's a free man. On Wednesday Circuit Judge David Carpenter re-sentenced Kennard to time served.

A journalist in the courtroom described the moment Kennard was freed as "extraordinary" and that his family wept with joy at the news.

His niece Patricia Jones told local media her family was overjoyed at the news.

"I fell apart," Kennard's niece, Patricia Jones, told WBRC. "I just threw my hands up and said, 'God, I thank you, I thank you.' " 


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