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Man jailed for life over $20 marijuana sale has been freed

Posted at 2:30 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 14:32:25-05

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana man who was arrested and sentenced to life for selling $20 in marijuana to undercover officers when he was homeless is now free.

WWL-TV reports that Fate Winslow was released from Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola on Wednesday.

“I was so happy to get out,” Winslow told WWL-TV after his release. “A life sentence for two bags of weed? I never thought something like that could happen.”

He served 12 years of a life sentence. Winslow told the station he was very happy to get out.

The station reports Winslow was approached by undercover officers in Shreveport in 2008, and they asked him where they could get some marijuana.

Winslow had already been convicted of three previous non-violent crimes stretching from when he was a 17-year-old to when he was 36, making him susceptible to the state’s repeat offender law.

The Innocence Project New Orleans took up his case, and he was eventually re-sentenced to time served.