67-year-old Guy Frank has been released from prison after serving 20 years of his sentence after he caught stealing two shirts at a department store. The New Orleans native was struggling with drug addiction and was arrested after taking two shirts at the men’s section of Saks Fifth Avenue in New Orleans. The shirts were immediately returned to the store. Frank was charged with one count of theft of goods worth less than $500. Frank pled guilty to the felony charge. However, in 2010, the law was changed and it is already considered a misdemeanor according to The Washington Post.
Frank was sentenced to 23 years imprisonment without parole despite pleading guilty as he was found to be a repeat offender. Under Louisiana’s multiple offender law, Frank could be subjected to decades in prison even though he didn’t commit a violent crime since he had been convicted of theft multiple times before that case.
The Innocence Project New Orleans helped advocate Frank’s case through its Unjust Punishment Project for him to be released immediately. Frank will also receive re-entry support services from the First 72+.
Frank now wants to become an assistant deacon to help advise and guide young people. A GoFundMe has been set up to raise funds to help him in rebuilding his life.