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17 Year Old Sentenced To Life For $2 Robbery

By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 18, 2007 in Crime
A 17 year old was arrested for armed robbery for $2 and on 10 Year probation he smoked Marijuana was sentenced to life imprisonment.
What began routinely as another Internet story illustrating drug war injustice posted on November Coalition's The WALL in 2005 has become a national movement to free Tyrone Brown from a life sentence in a Texas prison. Locked up since 1990, Tyrone had written our office in July 2004, asking to have his version of courtroom events told to the world.
This is how it started Tyrone Brown's ordeal, he was on probation for an armed robbery for stealing $2 from Bill Hathaway and later returned the wallet to him minus the $2, and was found breaking his probation by smoking marijuana. He has no other criminal history or juvenile record. However, the judge who presided the case ordered Tyrone to serve life in prison for "just smoking weed" while on a 10 year probation for stealing $2. After the Judge Keith Dean handed this sentence, he told him, "Good Luck, Mr. Brown". This happened in 16 years ago when Tyrone Brown was 17 years.
But what was the worst thing, the same judge had given a totally different punishment to another individual. Judge Dean had given a 10-year deferred sentence (probation) to a privileged, coked-out white man (Alex Woods) who had murdered a male prostitute by shooting him in the back, and who repeatedly violated terms of probation without suffering consequences. Egerton's black/white contrast in judicial fairness couldn't have been expressed sharper.
He wrote to the site pleading his case and help him release from the prison. They were shocked to hear this story, but couldn't believe this could happen, so they investigated and found exactly the truth behind Tyrone'sstatements. Soon after that ABC picked up the story and put it on 20/20.
Even the victim, Bill Hathaway, expressed outrage about the case, admitting he didn't know about Mr. Brown's sentence until "The Morning News" contacted him earlier this year and said then: "You have got to be kidding me."
Since then a Group has organized a site for him and have done lots of work for him including the author of this article and try to get him released as soon as possible.
They have also asked the Texas Governor to pardon Tyrone, but so far he has not done that. But the author received a letter recently from Tyrone, and received a message that he may be released soon. And also from his mother who is hopeful that she will see her son back and haveallotted a room for him just in case he is released soon.
I checked the main site they were supposed to release Tyrone by Christmas time last year, but so far he has not been released yet.
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