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A man in California has been released from prison after serving 13-years for stealing food from a church in Los Angeles.

Gregory Taylor was sentenced to 25-years to life after violating California’s three strikes law. Used as an example, Taylor received maximum sentence for a petty crime that nearly cost him his life.

In 1997, Taylor was arrested while trying to get into the kitchen of St. Joseph’s Church in downtown Los Angeles. At the scene, he reportedly told the officers that he did it because “he was hungry”.

Now in 2010, a Superior Court judge amended Gregory Taylor’s sentence to eight years already served and the 47-year-old, who was sentenced in 1997 will be set free in a few days.

At the emotional hearing, Taylor softly thanked the court and his lawyers for “giving me another chance … and my family for sticking by me.”

Taylor whose case sparked the interest of Stanford Law School’s Three-Strikes Project, was so compelling that the group filed a writ of habeas corpus seeking his freedom.

The district attorney did not oppose the group’s move.