Before 2017, a person in Louisiana could be sentenced to life in prison after receiving a fourth nonviolent conviction under the state’s habitual offender law.
— BILL LOHMANN, THE NEW YORK TIMES
A Louisiana man whose life sentence for attempting to steal hedge clippers in 1997 drew a national spotlight to the state’s habitual offender law has been granted parole, according to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
The Louisiana Committee on Parole voted 3-0 on Thursday to release Fair Wayne Bryant, 63, who was convicted on a felony count of attempted simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling in a storeroom at a home in Shreveport, La.
Under a state law that penalizes offenders with previous convictions, Mr. Bryant was sentenced to life in prison for the conviction.
Featured Image, Fair Wayne Bryant walked out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary on Thursday after serving over 20 years.Credit…Kerry Myers/The Louisiana Parole Project
Full article @ The New York Times
n the United States, habitual offender laws (commonly referred to as three-strikes laws) were first implemented on March 7, 1994, and are part of the United States Justice Department‘s Anti-Violence Strategy. These laws require both a severe violent felony and two other previous convictions to serve a mandatory life sentence in prison. The purpose of the laws is to drastically increase the punishment of those convicted of more than two serious crimes.
Twenty-eight states have some form of a “three-strikes” law. A person accused under such laws is referred to in a few states (notably Connecticut and Kansas) as a “persistent offender“, while Missouri uses the unique term “prior and persistent offender“. In most jurisdictions, only crimes at the felony level qualify as serious offenses; however, misdemeanor and/or wobbler offenses can qualify for application of the three-strikes law in California, whose harsh application has been the subject of controversy.
The three-strikes law significantly increases the prison sentences of persons convicted of a felony who have been previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies, and limits the ability of these offenders to receive a punishment other than a life sentence.
Source – Three-strikes law (Updated: 27 September 2020) Wikipedia. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-strikes_law, (Accessed: 17 October 2020)