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Man branded as career criminal, sentenced to life in prison

In Louisiana, the punishment for a crime might not always fit the crime itself. When it comes to criminal law, the state's habitual offender law might put someone in prison for an extraordinarily long time relative to the severity of a particular crime they might be convicted of.

An example of this was seen this week. A 61-year-old man who had been convicted last month of two home burglaries was determined by a state district judge to be a career criminal. This meant that the judge could opt to issue a stronger sentence -- and he did. The man was sentenced to life in prison.

According to records, the man had been convicted of crimes such as burglary of an inhabited dwelling and possession of stolen property worth $500 back in 2001. On the basis of this, as well as his new convictions for burglary, the judge in the case sentenced the man to life in prison.

The idea behind the Louisiana habitual offender law is similar to the "three strikes" laws in other states -- if a person is shown to be continually in violation of the law, a judge might sentence him or her to a punishment more strict than the most recent conviction would otherwise warrant. In this case, the judge apparently felt that the man's history warranted the more severe sentence.

People who have been charged with crimes in Louisiana -- particularly those who have prior convictions on their record -- may wish to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can offer advice and expertise.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "Man convicted in Mandeville home burglaries gets life sentence after judge finds he is a career criminal," Heather Nolan, Oct. 18, 2013

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

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