Alabama man to be freed after serving 36 years of life sentence for $50.75 theft
search

Alabama man to be freed after serving 36 years of life sentence for $50.75 theft

Alvin Kennard, now 58, was given severe punishment under state’s Habitual Felony Offender Act also known as ‘three strikes law’

Alvin Kennard sits in the courtroom before his hearing in Bessemer, Alabama on August 28, 2019. (Ivana Hrynkiw/The Birmingham News via AP)
Alvin Kennard sits in the courtroom before his hearing in Bessemer, Alabama on August 28, 2019. (Ivana Hrynkiw/The Birmingham News via AP)

BESSEMER, Alabama — An Alabama man sentenced to life in prison for stealing $50.75 will have his time cut short after being resentenced to time served.

Fifty-eight year-old Alvin Kennard was ordered to be released from prison Wednesday after serving 36 years and was set to be processed out by the Alabama Department of Corrections. It’s unclear when Kennard will be released.

Kenard had been 22-year-old when he entered prison after being convicted of first-degree robbery in 1983.

Court records say Kennard was sentenced to life under Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act — also known as the “three strikes law” — for stealing from a bakery. Kennard had previously served three years’ probation for burglary and grand larceny, making him eligible to be sentenced  to life without parole under the act.

Kennard’s attorney Carla Crowder argued that he would’ve received a 20-year max sentence under new sentencing guidelines.

Ahead of his resentencing, Kennard told the court, “I just want to say I’m sorry for what I did… I take responsibility for what I did in the past. I want the opportunity to get it right.”

Crowder said her client was “overwhelmed” upon hearing the ruling.

“What’s extraordinary about Mr. Kennard is that even when he thought he was going to be in prison for the rest of his life, he really turned his life around,” The Guardian quoted her as having said. “He is overwhelmed at this opportunity, but has remained close with his family, so he has incredible support.”

“All of us [were] crying,” Kennard’s niece, Patricia Jones, told the WBRC local Fox news TV station. “We’ve been talking about it for, I don’t know, 20-plus years, about being free.”

Crowder claimed there were hundreds of other people in Alabama currently serving life without parole for non-violent crimes because they haven’t been given proper legal representation.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments