Robert Ferguson, a repeat offender, was sentenced to eight years for stealing a $3.99 bag of shredded cheese under the state’s three strikes law. Ferguson is no Jean Valjean — he has a criminal record going back 30 years. He was found to be bipolar by state psychologists.
Prosecutor Clinton Parish said Ferguson had spent 22 of the past 27 years behind bars. He could now be eligible for parole in three years.
Critics have cited his case as an example of sentencing that is out of control under the three strikes law. Notably, he was facing life in prison for the cheese crime if he had not been found bipolar.
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