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Prop 36 Law Frees Inmate After 17 Years

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By Paul Johnson

San Diego, California (CNN) - After 17 years behind bars ... a San Diego man is about to walk out of prison. He'd been sentenced to 25 to life .. but because of Proposition 36 ... a new voter-approved amendment... Sergio Ayala and hundreds of other inmates may be set free. Ayala was a heroin addict convicted of stealing a 150-dollar leaf blower. And because he had two prior non-violent burglary convictions ... according to the 1994 Three Strikes Law ... he was locked up for 25 to life.
But now he has a chance to start over. "Today the judge ordered Mr. Ayala to be released from prison after serving 17 years in prison. This is a guy who had given up hope, as a lot of lifers had, a long time ago. If one of these guys reoffends, who gets resentenced under prop 36, there's gonna be people who will say it was a mistake , but we are going to save million and millions of dollars."
Under Prop 36 ... convicts may apply to have their cases re-evaluated and then be re-sentenced.
Supporters say the amendment helps get non-violent offenders out of the prison system and save hundreds of millions in tax dollars.


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