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US Man to Walk Out of Jail After Spending 36 Years For Stealing Rs 3500

Alvin Kennard, now 58, was convicted of first-degree robbery and sentenced to life in connection with a theft in January 1983.

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Updated:August 31, 2019, 3:01 PM IST
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US Man to Walk Out of Jail After Spending 36 Years For Stealing Rs 3500
Image for representation purpose only / Lokmat News18.
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A man in the United States is set to be released after spending 36 years in jail for a $50.75 (approx. Rs 3,500) theft from a bakery under a controversial law.

“I’m sorry for what I did,” New York Post quoted Alvin Kennard as telling Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff Circuit Judge David Carpenter on Wednesday. “I was wrong.”

Kennard, now 58, was convicted of first-degree robbery and sentenced to life in connection with a theft in January 1983 under Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act, or “three strikes law”, which has seen “people sentenced to die in prison for petty crimes,” according to reason.com.

In 1979, he had been charged with burglary, grand larceny and receiving stolen property.

Kennard was handed a suspended sentence of three years’ probation for that incident after pleading guilty to three counts of second-degree burglary.

Kennard was handed a life term without parole under the Habitual Felony Offender Act in 1984 due to those prior offences.

Kennard's attorney Carla Crowder argued that the man would have received a maximum sentence of 20 years and would have been eligible for parole between 10 and 15 years under the state’s new sentencing guidelines, according to WIAT.

Kennard said he would live with his family in Bessemer and do carpentry work after Judge David Carpenter determined he had served his time.

But it is still not clear how long the Alabama Department of Corrections would take to process him.

In the courtroom, more than a dozen loved ones rose from their seats, chanting, “Thank you, Jesus,” when the judge asked who was going to support Kennard upon his release, County prosecutors didn’t oppose the judge’s decision.

“But let me be clear, this is not about $50,” Assistant District Attorney Lane Tolbert was quoted as saying.

Kennard would have served 10 years to life with the possibility of parole if he had been sentenced for first-degree robbery today.

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