Jackson County prosecutor seeks reprieve for man serving decades-long burglary sentence

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's been coined one of the harshest sentences in Jackson County history. A metro man sentenced to 80 years for burglary. Alvis Williams has already served 21 years and now the Jackson County prosecutor wants him freed.

"I get a lot of requests," said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

But Williams' plea for help stood out from all of the rest. Baker researched his past; a teen who was convicted in 1994 of burglarizing a duplex near the corner of Meyer Boulevard and Holmes Road. It's a crime that presently would hold a maximum sentence of seven years. Prosecutors recommended 20, but Williams was sentenced to 80.

"There are risks when you go to trial. He was convicted by a jury and a judge sentenced him. That's how our system works," Baker said.

That maximum 80-year sentence was called excessive and unconstitutionally cruel by Williams' attorney, but in the early 1990s, second degree burglary was listed a dangerous felony making a defendant eligible for Class X Classification. Williams was convicted on four counts, each carrying a 20-year punishment. Baker says yes, Williams committed a crime but he did his time, nearly 22 years in prison.

Now she's going to do whatever she can to see him as a taxpayer and a father to his kids.

"A prosecutor does what the right thing to do is. And this is the right thing," she said.

This request for clemency is now on it's way to the Governor Jay Nixon's desk. Whether Alvis gets help rests in his hands.