In 1996, Shane Taylor, a 27-year-old prep cook and married father, was arrested in California's Tulare County for possession of $5 worth of methamphetamine. If charged as a felony—as it was in this case—such an offense carries a minimum sentence of 16 months in prison. But Taylor had been convicted twice in the late '80s on felony burglary charges, so his petty meth possession earned him a life term under the state's "three strikes" law.
Source: Mother Jones. Read full article. (link)