Louisiana Man, 67, Released From Prison for Stealing Two Shirts 20 Years Ago

According to the Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO), Guy Frank was released from prison in Louisiana after serving 20 years for stealing two shirts from Saks 5th Avenue in New Orleans in 2000. Innocence Project New Orleans works to free innocent people sentenced to life in prison as well as advocates for sensible criminal justice policies that reduce wrongful convictions. IPNO also strives to support clients, like Frank, to live well and fully in the world after their release. IPNO was created when its founding director Emily Bolton was awarded a two-year fellowship from the National Association for Public Interest Law (now Equal Justice Works) for reviewing the cases of life-sentenced prisoners in Louisiana who may have been wrongly convicted but had no way of proving it from inside prison without a lawyer.

On Twitter, the Louisiana-based nonprofit, which provided assistance to Frank, congratulated him on obtaining his long-awaited freedom.

“Guy Frank walked out of prison via IPNO’s Unjust Punishment Project today after serving 20 years for stealing 2 shirts from Saks 5th Avenue in New Orleans in 2000. His case shows how poor Black people are disproportionately affected by multiple offender laws. Welcome home, sir,” INPO said in the victory tweet.

IPNO provided more details about the 67-year-old man from New Orleans on Facebook. The organization stated that Frank received an unjust sentence under Louisiana’s multiple offender law, which can subject people who have never committed a violent crime to decades in prison.

“IPNO’s Unjust Punishment Project identified Mr. Frank’s case and was able to advocate to the Orleans Parish District Attorney that he should be released immediately,” IPNO’s Facebook post said.

Further statements were made that Mr. Frank’s case gets to the heart of what is wrong with Louisiana’s multiple offender law. IPNO also stated that the man’s case shows how poor Black people are disproportionately affected by these extreme sentences, and that “it is hard to imagine a White person with resources receiving this sentence for this crime.”

WDSU News in New Orleans shared additional details about 67-year-old Frank’s previous legal matter. The news station added that Frank was immediately detained, and the shirts were returned to Saks, according to IPNO.

“Frank was booked with one count of theft of goods valued at less than $500,” WDSU News reported. “IPNO said at the time of the crime, it was considered a felony, but the law was changed in 2010 to make it a misdemeanor.”

It was also mentioned by WDSU that IPNO said that Frank struggled with severe drug addiction and pled guilty as charged to stealing the two shirts.

Frank is currently on his way to rebuilding his life. IPNO also posted his GoFundMe fundraiser and Amazon wish list information. A top, anonymous GoFundMe donation of $4,000 was made to support Frank’s journey. Client Services organized the financial fundraiser.


Guy Frank is starting his life over again.
Credit- Twitter


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