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Alabama Man has Served 38 Years of Life Sentence for Stealing $9

A man in Alabama has served 38 years of a life sentence in prison and continues to serve it, without being eligible for parole because of a robbery he was convicted of when he was 25 years old.

The Alabama man was found guilty of stealing $9.

Willie Simmons’ unconscionable and shocking story went viral on Twitter this past Saturday in a thread tweeted out by Journalist Beth Shelburne @bshelburne.

Shelburne tweeted that Willie Simmons had three prior nonviolent convictions, and he was prosecuted under the controversial law in Alabama for habitual offenders. A court ruled that Mr Simmons should be sentenced to life in prison.

In Mr Simmons’ crime that resulted in him being imprisoned for life, Simmons said he was high on drugs and was just looking to get his next high fix, according to Beth Shelburne.

Mr Simmons was arrested only a few blocks away after wrestling a man to the ground and stealing his wallet that contained just $9 inside of it.

Willie Simmons recalled after all this time that his trial only lasted a mere 25 minutes. He wasn’t offered a plea deal, and his appointed attorney didn’t want to be bothered with calling any witnesses forward in the trial.

“They kept saying we’ll do our best to keep you off the streets for good,” Mr Simmons remembered from his trial, and told Shelburne.

Mr Simmons is now 62 years old and is still being locked up at the Holman Correctional Facility located in Escambia County, Alabama. His sister passed away in 2005, and he hasn’t had any visitors ever since that happened.

Shelburne describes the prison as one of the “most violent in the country” where Willie Simmons spends his days studying to get his GED and says he tries to “stay away from the wild bunch.”

Mr Simmons has repeatedly tried to appeal his case over the last year without having a lawyer, and has never denied his crimes, but his appeals have all been denied.

Although Mr Simmons has spent the past 38 years locked up behind bars, he still hopes that one day he will be set free, and told Shelburne that, “I ain’t giving up.”

“My hope is to get out of here, settle down with a woman and do God’s will,” Simmons said to the Journalist. “I’d like to tell people about how bad drugs are.” reported that the Habitual Offender Law in Alabama can result in sentences such as the case of Simmons, depending on the criminal record of the individual.

There has been a lot of criticism about the law for being “too harsh.”

Under the Alabama law, if a person commits a Class C offense such as criminally negligent homicide, stalking, or custodial interference and they don’t have any prior felonies, they can server between 1 to 10 year in prison, but if the person has three prior felonies they can serve 15 years up to life in prison.

When it comes to Class B offenses such as assault in the first-degree, or second -degree kidnapping, the range increases from 2 to 20 years in prison without having any prior felonies, but with three prior felonies it increases to 20 years to life in prison.

As for Class A offenses including trafficking, murder, or first-degree robbery, and if a person has three prior felonies, according to the law they “should be” sentenced to life in prison, or life without the possibility of parole. If one or more of the offenses were a Class A felony, it is mandatory to sentence the individual to life without parole.

Kyle James Lee

Majority Owner of The AEGIS Alliance. I studied in college for Media Arts, Game Development. Talents include Writer/Article Writer, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Web Design and Development, Video Production, Social Media, and eCommerce.

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