Alabama man sentenced to life for stealing $50 freed after 36 years

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BESSEMER, Ala. (WVTM/NBC News)  –An Alabama man who’s spent more than 36 years in prison for stealing $50 will soon be free.

Alvin Kennard was of robbing a bakery in Bessemer, Alabama in 1983.

Since he had already been convicted of three other felonies, he was given life without parole under Alabama’s old “three strikes” law.

In 2013 the Alabama Sentencing Commission adopted new guidelines. If Kennard had been sentenced under the new system, he would have been eligible for parole after ten years.

“He had to be sentenced, but with it being so severe we were just hoping that one day God would free him, and He did,” Patricia Jones, Kennard’s niece, said after the revised sentence was announced.

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