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3.3K US Prisoners Serving Life for Non-Violent Crimes

3.3K US Prisoners Serving Life for Non-Violent Crimes
Posted Wednesday, November 13th 2013 @ 1pm  by John Johnson, Newser Staff

(NEWSER– When you think of criminals who get locked away for life with no hope of parole, murderers or rapists might come to mind. But a guy who shoplifted a $159 jacket? He is one of 3,278 prisoners serving such a sentence in federal or state prisons in the US for a non-violent crime, the ACLU reports. Most are black men convicted of drug crimes who got caught up in mandatory sentencing laws because of prior convictions, says the report. It also has plenty of cases like Timothy Lee's, the now 53-year-old who got busted for stealing that jacket in 1996, reports the Guardian. Another lifer got put away for siphoning gas.

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