Fair Wayne Bryant was sentenced to life in 1997 for trying to take the clippers from a Caddo Parish storage room. The Supreme Court denied a request last week to review that sentence.
However, he wasn’t sentenced to serve life just because he stole some clippers. Bryant was previously convicted four times. His life sentence was sanctioned by the habitual offender law.
Habitual Offender laws are and always have been one of the greatest tragedies in the entire legal system of any developed nation. On paper, maybe it makes sense for VERY VIOLENT and REPEATED crimes and criminals. But that is not how most people have been penalized by 3 strike laws and other “habitual offender” legislation.
However, he’s been convicted four times:
• 1979 attempted armed robbery of a cab driver (10 years in prison)
• 1987: possession of stolen articles over $500 (2 years in prison)
• 1989: forging a $150 check (18 months in prison)
• 1991: breaking into a house and stealing personal property (4 years)
Prior to his latest theft, he’s already been sent to prison for 17 and a half years. The 1997 conviction was for stealing the clippers and the local law says that you’re deemed to be a habitual offender and you get life no matter what.
Should habitual offender law should exist – it’s arguable.
The LA Supreme Court won’t review the case because the law in question is the habitual offender law and they already reviewed the case during the initial life sentence appeal and said it wasn’t excessive. You can argue whether it is or isn’t but this is likely the reason why they won’t review now – because it’s already been reviewed by that court.
What do you think? Life sentence to harsh or just right? Comment below