A Young Dad Will Spend Life in Prison for Nonviolent Offenses

Post Date: November 14, 2013


Patrick Matthews and his family.

(Business Insider) — The ACLU’s heartbreaking new report on life sentences for nonviolent offenders features the story of a young dad who will likely die in prison because of three small-time thefts.

Patrick W. Matthews got life in prison in 2009, when he was just 22, for stealing a $750 welding machine, some tools, and a roughly $800 generator, according to court documents.

Matthews, who had been addicted to methamphetamine and heroin as a teen, got the harsh sentence under Louisiana’s Habitual Offender Law because of several prior convictions tied to a single burglary that happened when he was 17, according to the ACLU. Read more