Man freed after spending 23 years in prison for stealing set of hedge trimmers

A man sentenced to life imprisonment for stealing a pair of hedge clippers has been freed on parole 23 years on – after a lengthy battle to get him out.

Fair Wayne Bryant, 63, has been in the US's largest maximum-security jail, Angola, since 1997.

The Supreme Court had repeatedly declined to review his sentence for being an "habitual" offender under the USA's three strikes law.

But Bryant, of Louisiana, was granted parole last Thursday shortly after the Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole voted for the move.

His new-found freedom comes after years of campaigning by human rights groups including the Louisiana American Civil Liberties Union, NBC News reports.

Bryant was 38 when he was caught red-handed stealing a pair of clippers from a carport storeroom at a home in Shreveport and arrested in January 1997.

He had been convicted of burglary that year and had previous convictions, so was sentenced to life in prison under state law under the USA’s three strikes law.

Mr Bryant will now enter a programme in Baton Rouge which teaches prisoners how to adjust to life as a free man.

Authorities will let him move into his brother’s home in Shreveport on completion of the programme.

  • Three young girls including 8-month-old baby found dead after being suffocated

Mr Bryant must also abide by a curfew, attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and complete community service.

Human rights groups called the board’s decision to grant parole a “long-overdue victory.”

Mr Bryant had appealed his case previously, saying it was “unconstitutionally harsh.”

But in July, the Louisiana Supreme Court declined to review his sentence.

A court spokesperson told NBC News in August that five of the court’s seven justices denied his request without giving an explanation.

Source: Read Full Article