Crime & Justice

3 strikes inmate who tried to steal soup released

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California Thursday released a South L.A. man who’d been serving a 25 years to life prison sentence for trying to steal food from a soup kitchen.

Thirteen years ago, a judge sentenced Gregory Taylor under the state’s “three strikes” law.

Then-Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti said Taylor deserved 25 years to life in prison because he’d been convicted of two previous strong-armed robberies before someone caught him breaking into a South L.A. soup kitchen. Taylor was homeless at the time.

Current District Attorney Steve Cooley called the case unfair and used it to campaign against Garcetti. He supported a judge’s decision to reduce Taylor’s sentence to eight years. Cooley called the move “justice long overdue.”

Taylor said he was just glad to be out, and around his family.

Three strikes opponents say other men and women like Taylor from other counties remain behind bars. More conservative prosecutors oppose their release.