It looks like one person’s sweet tooth has landed him on the rotten side of the law. According to the Associated Press, a Louisiana man was arraigned for stealing $31 worth of candy at a Dollar General store, which might warrant him 20 years to life in prison.
In New Orleans, there’s a habitual-offender law that heightens the sentencing of theft to a felony if a suspect has been found guilty of “theft of goods” twice, the site states. For the suspect in question, Jacobia Grimes, 34, the law has handed down five prior theft judgements, which included shoplifting from local outlets like Rite-Aid to a grocery store named Rouses.
Once the supposed sentencing, which has yet to be set in stone was announced, Judge Franz Zibilich, who’s presiding over Grimes’ case, questioned the severity of the ruling. “Isn’t this a little over the top?” he said. “Twenty years to life for a Snickers bar, or two or three or four.”
Grimes’ lawyer, Miles Swanson, also issued a statement on the pending sentencing. “They’re spending their time to lock someone up for years over $31 worth of candy.”
In an interview with The Advocate, Kevin Kane, member of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, shared his thoughts on the possible ruling. “It’s obviously an example of some of the situations that you inevitably end up seeing when you have some of these habitual-offender laws,” he said. “There’s no perfect solution. We always face this dilemma: Do you make sentences very flexible and run the risk of people who have done something bad not getting tough enough sentences, or do you make them very rigid?”