Alabama Man Released From Prison After He Was Sentenced In 1983 To Life Without Parole For Robbery Of $50 From Bakery

Sep 24, 2020 by apost team

It is important for us to trust law enforcement and judicial personnel. By and large, police officers, prosecutors, and judges behave in a way that is fair and in the public good. Occasionally, however, those we trust to uphold the law get things wrong.

Such was the case of a man in Alabama named Alvin Kennard, who was sentenced in 1983 to life without the possibility of parole for stealing $50 from a bakery. Incredibly, Alvin was released in 2019 after spending 36 years behind bars. Here is his story.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video.

Back in 1979, Alvin Kennard was found guilty of three counts of second-degree burglary, being sentenced to three years of probation according to

Four years later, in 1983, Alvin was convicted of robbery, the second strike on his record. Later that year, when the 22-year-old Alvin robbed $50 from a bakery with a knife, Alvin was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole due to the state’s stringent three strikes law.

Despite having no hope for a future outside the walls of a prison, Alvin turned his life around while he was incarcerated in William E. Donaldson Prison. Alvin’s attorney, Carla Crowder, said that Alvin also has a very strong support system, and showed "exemplary behavior" while in prison according to

When Crowder appealed Alvin’s case before Judge David Carpenter, the court showed mercy to the inmate. Remedying the injustice done over three decades prior, Judge Carpenter sentenced Alvin to time served, thus giving him his freedom back.

Alvin’s family was ecstatic at the news that Alvin would come home. Alvin’s niece, Patricia Jones, said that on hearing the news Alvin would be freed, she put her hands in the air and thanked God.

Patricia told reporters from WBRC that her family was prepared to support their uncle, adding that Alvin hoped to get a job. 

At the time, Alvin himself said that he was overwhelmed at having a second chance at life outside of prison. At the hearing, Alvin told Judge Carpenter that he planned on living in his family’s home in Bessemer and getting a job in carpentry, as CBS47 reported.

Now, over one year since Alvin was released from prison, his lawyer Carla Crowder wrote about how Alvin has turned his life around—completing a year of employment at Town and Country Ford, where Alvin works in the body shop buffing cars. He's active at church, filed a tax return this year, and has the full support of his family. Alvin told Crowder:

“It’s almost a year I’ve had my job. It’s been a blessing, it’s been wonderful. It’s not about how much money I’m making, it’s about what God allowed me to do.”

What a positive turn to Alvin's story!

What do you think about how Alvin was given his freedom back after serving over three decades in prison for stealing $50 from a bakery? What do you think needs to be done to stop courts from handing down unjust sentences? Tell us in the comments and be sure to pass on Alvin's story to others.

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