A man is due to walk free from prison after spending 36 years locked up for stealing £41. Alvin Kennard was serving life without parole under an old Alabama 'three strikes' law. The 58-year-old was first charged with two counts of burglary first degree and grand larceny and received a three year suspended sentence in 1979. Four years later he was charged and convicted of robbery in the first degree after robbing a bakery of $50 (£41). Since then, he has remained in jail on a life sentence under the Habitual Felony Offender Act.
Now, a judge has heard his plea to be released at a court hearing in Jefferson County. The court head Kennard, who has spent most of his adult life at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, was ready to take responsibility for his past actions. Kennard said: "I'm sorry for what I did... I was wrong. I take responsibility for what I did in the past. I want the opportunity to get it right."Judge Carpenter is now said to be filing paperwork to the Department of Corrections ready for his release. At the hearing, Kennard's family stood up and cheered as they heard he would be released. His niece Patricia Jones said that she had been visiting him for years in prison and she could see how much he had changed for the better. She said: "It was a couple of years that he started talking about God and I knew he had changed."He wants to be forgiven for what he had done and he wants the opportunity to come back and learn how to survive."