The 10-year sentence received by white police officer Amber Guyger for shooting and killing a black man she said she mistook for an intruder prompted an online debate about the fairness of sentencing laws.
Some decried Guyger’s relatively lenient sentence compared to the one meted out to Timothy Jackson, an African American man found guilty of shoplifting a jacket worth $159 and consigned to life in prison without parole in 1996.
However, there was more to Jackson’s harsh sentencing than meets the eye, Snopes.com’s Dan MacGuill reports. As a repeat offender, Jackson ran afoul of Louisiana’s unforgiving mandatory minimum sentencing statutes, which the court was unable to override.
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