<<<One of the judges who reviewed Patrick's appeal said he did not "believe that the ends of justice are met by a mandatory sentence for this 22-year-old," but that legislation mandated sending Patrick away for the rest of his life because of unarmed burglary convictions when he was 17.>>>
Should have figured mandatory minimums would play into this. They tend to be responsible for all manner of totally senseless sentencing outcomes and create situations where the appeals process *and judges* are really powerless to deal with such things or show any level of reasonable discretion.
Apparently his trouble stems from a lengthy past record. It would be interesting to know the exact details of his prior convictions
<<<Matthews, who had been addicted to methamphetamine and heroin as a teen, got the harsh sentence under Louisiana's Habitual Offender Law because of several prior convictions tied to a single burglary that happened when he was 17, according to the ACLU.>>>
Read more: Patrick W. Matthews' Mandatory Minimum Sentence - Business Insider