Nine years ago,
Ronald Washington swiped two Michael Jordan jerseys from a Foot
Locker in Shreveport, Louisiana. Although the shirts were on sale
for $45 each, they were officially priced at $60, putting their
combined value above $100. The difference between the discounted
price and the list price was the difference between a misdemeanor
punishable by no more than six months in jail and a felony that
triggered a life sentence.
Washington is one of the prisoners profiled in a new
report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on
nonviolent offenders serving sentences of life without parole.
There were at least 3,278 such prisoners in the U.S. at the end of
2012. Senior Editor Jacob Sullum says that astonishing number
reflects decades of tough-on-crime policies unconstrained by
justice, wisdom, or compassion.
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/20/jacob-sullum-on-life-sentences-for-nonvi