NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana man who served 12 years of a life sentence he received for selling $20 of marijuana is home with his family.
Fate Winslow, 53, was released from Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola on Wednesday and told WWL-TV that the first thing he wanted to do when he made it home to Shreveport was to stop at Popeye’s for fried chicken.
“A life sentence for two bags of weed? I never thought something like that could happen,” Winslow told the TV station, as he prepared to reunite with his four children and three grandchildren.
According to his appeal attorneys at the Innocence Project New Orleans, Winslow, who was homeless in 2008, borrowed a bike and retrieved two small bags of marijuana for a man on the streets of Shreveport who asked where to find some. The man, who gave Winslow $5 to buy food for his trouble, turned out to be an undercover police officer, and Winslow was convicted of distribution of marijuana.
Because Winslow had three prior convictions – for business burglary, vehicle burglary and cocaine possession - the distribution conviction led to a mandatory life sentence as a repeat offender, CBS News reported.
After connecting with Innocence Project New Orleans, Winslow was resentenced to 12 years with credit for time served.
“I’m full of joy. I’m so happy, man. I got to be with my family last night once I was released, and I can’t explain it. I’m so happy,” Winslow told the network.
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