Back in 1925 the judicial system in America was very strict when it came down to minor crimes in general. It was the time when a 16-year-old boy named Stephen Dennison decided to steal candy bars worth of $5 from a roadside candy store in Salem, N.Y.
For a small and seemingly harmless crime like this Stephen received a 10 year burglary suspended sentence but was later sent to a state reformatory for violating his probation. Since that day on Stephen’s bad luck became even worse.
He was wrongly classified as a “low-grade moron” and sent to a mental institute for defective delinquents. This horrifying experience altered his behavior and character so much that after his 10 year sentence the state issued him a certificate for lunacy and transferred him to a hospital for the criminally insane. Poor Stephen Dennison remained there until 1960.
Eventually, after having spent over 34 years in various mental institutions Stephen Dennison was released on a writ of habeas corpus (a court order) acquired by his half-brother who decided to claim his release after all this time.