SAN DIEGO (AP) – A man facing the rest of his life in prison for a “three strikes” conviction has been released under a new California law allowing a second look at such sentences.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says 57-year-old Kent Joy Williams appeared at a news conference Thursday in which he thanked his wife, the San Diego County district attorney and God for helping him turn his life around.

Williams, who served 16 years for burglary and auto theft, may be the first person freed under a bill that took effect in January. It allows prosecutors to look at whether a previous sentence was unduly harsh under current guidelines.

Today, Williams’ 50-years-to-life sentence would be reserved for murder. He was freed two months ago after a judge reduced his sentence to time served.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.

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