I dimly recall the chap that went to jail or perhaps it was prison for something like 20 years. His crime? As I recall, he stole $20.00 or so worth of crap from a store.
The judge was a fool, many said at the time.
The law was bad, said many more.
The public was outraged, as i recall.
This criminal will watch rapists and murderers and gang bangers come and go as he serves twenty for shoplifting a bunch of trinkets from a store.
The judge was required to give this ass 20 or so years because of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. These were/are laws that require judges to give set sentences with no wiggle room.
The chap that went to the Greybar Hotel committed previous crimes, so he was sentenced under the three strikes rule. Because he was on his third strike, the judge had no choice but to give the long sentence.
The public (apparently) wanted these kinds of laws passed because drug dealers were getting off. When a judge must give a specific length sentence, it makes things easier. But now that the laws exist, the public is discovering that the law is not passed to help or hurt one person; they learn that the laws they vote for apply to everyone and sometimes what they want bits them in the arse..