WHY ALABAMA’S HABITUAL OFFENDERS LAW SHOULD BE REPEALED
In the spring of 1982, 22 year old Willie Simmons hadn’t been out of prison long and still hadn’t found a job. Bills had to be paid and Willie needed money. In this state of mind Willie saw a man standing in his yard as he walked down Daleville Avenue. Desperate, Willie accosted the man and after a brief conversation, Willie wrestled the man to the ground then took his wallet escaping with $9.
Willie was ultimately arrested and charged with Robbery 1st degree. Once Willie was convicted for taking the wallet, due to having 3 prior Theft convictions, Willie was sentenced to a Mandatory Life without Parole Sentence under Alabama’s newly enacted Habitual Offenders Statute. Thirty four (34 !!!!) years later, Willie Simmons is still languishing away in Alabama’s Department of Corrections.