An Alabama man who spent over three decades in prison for stealing $50 from a bakery will be released in a few days.
Alvin Kennard was just 22-years-old when he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for stealing $50 out of a bakery back in 1984.
Back then, Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act mandated Kennard be sentenced to life because it was his fourth offense.
The law has since changed, but not retroactively. It took a judge, who was curious about the case, to step in and do the right thing by 58-year-old Alvin Kennard.
“The judge in this case noticed how odd it seemed that someone was serving life without parole for a $50 robbery,” said Kennard’s attorney, Carla Crowder, who said it was Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff Circuit Judge David Carpenter who saw Kennard’s case when some documents came across his desk.
“This was a judge that kind of went out of his way,” Crowder told ABC News.
As incredible as this opportunity is for Mr. Kennard and as happy as we are for him, we know that there are hundreds of similarly situated incarcerated people in the state who don’t have attorneys, who don’t have a voice,” Crowder said. “As this state grapples with the Department of Justice involvement and unconstitutional prisons, I would hope our lawmakers, our courts and our governor would do more to address these injustices.”
Wow. Imagine a life sentence for $50. I’m glad Mr. Kennard will be home very soon.