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/ Source: Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A man serving a 57-year sentence for three armed carjackings in the mid-1990s won a reprieve on Tuesday when a federal judge agreed that the punishment was "unjust." U.S. District Judge John Gleeson re-sentenced Francois Holloway to time served — about two decades — after telling him he deserved a second chance. Holloway, 57, still must do additional time in an old state drug case, but he could be out by early next year. "All I have to say to you is make it count," Gleeson said in Brooklyn federal court.

Behind bars, Holloway converted to Islam, passed a high school equivalency exam and largely stayed out of trouble. He thanked the judge on Tuesday for giving him the chance to reunite with his ailing 75-year-old mother and to meet his grandchildren for the first time. Cases like Holloway's "would be laughable if only there weren't real people on the receiving end of them," the judge wrote in a court papers earlier this week. He added that Holloway "would have likely fared better if he had committed murder."

- The Associated Press