A man in Louisiana, United States, has been released after serving a 20-year prison sentence for stealing two shirts. The man, Guy Frank, was arrested in February 2000. A campaign called The Innocence Project New Orleans is being launched in Louisiana to free people serving long sentences in minor offenses. For this reason, the court ordered Frank’s release, seeing him as an unjust punisher.
Frank has been arrested 36 times
Frank is a habitual criminal. Frank was arrested 36 times before stealing a shirt on Saks Fifth Avenue in New Orleans. He was accused of hooliganism in at least three of these cases. But, each time, he survived by going to jail for one reason or another. After that, when the police arrested him, Frank was charged with stealing goods worth less than $ 500.
So Frank was sentenced to 20 years in prison
The theft of less than $ 500 in Louisiana was considered a crime at the time. Frank was given a harsh 20-year sentence because of Louisiana’s controversial criminal laws. The law made for repeat offenders has been called the law of three strikes. However, there have also been numerous reports of abuse of this law.
Accused of targeting blacks
The Three Strike Law is cited as the cause of widespread harassment and racial discrimination in Louisiana. False cases were filed under this law against many such people, which the court rejected and also strongly reprimanded the prosecution. The Innocence Project New Orleans said in a statement that Frank’s case shows us how black people are affected by this law. It is unthinkable to punish a white person under this law.
Criticism of regular criminal law intensifies
The usual criminal law has been criticized in the United States because it only provides for severe penalties. Nowhere in the law is there a provision for rehabilitation or crime prevention. Some provisions of regular criminal laws were repealed in 2017, but racial disparities persist in Louisiana criminal law.