In August 2010, John Wesley Ewell was arrested on suspicion of stealing from a Home Depot store, the third time he had been accused of theft that year. The following month, prosecutors charged him with grand theft of personal property and second-degree commercial burglary, felonies that made him eligible for a 25-years-to-life prison sentence under the three-strikes law. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office did not seek the maximum sentence, the fourth time that the office had used its discretion not to pursue a possible life sentence for Ewell under the three-strikes law. The decision conformed with the office’s policy of not seeking life terms for people accused of minor crimes. Ewell was released from jail on $20,000 bail, far less than the court’s recommended bail amount for someone with Ewell’s criminal record. However, a prosecutor did not object to Ewell remaining free on the same bail.
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