Ex-major leaguer Aikens released after nearly 14 years
Former major league player Willie Mays Aikens was released from federal prison in Jesup, Ga., early Wednesday morning after spending nearly 14 years behind bars.
Aikens, who played eight big league seasons at first base and DH with the Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays, said he hopes to have a career in baseball, and wants to become a major league scout.
In March 1994, Aikens was arrested in Kansas City and charged with selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer. He was sentenced later that year to the maximum sentence of 15 years, eight months and an additional five years because he allegedly had a loaded gun in the room where the drugs were sold.
When Aikens was sentenced, the guidelines for sentences on crack cocaine convictions were much stricter than those for powdered cocaine because it was thought that crack defendants were more violent. Last year, the guidelines were deemed cruel and unusual.
Three months ago, Congress approved new guidelines and made them retroactive -- making Aikens one of about 20,000 inmates eligible for early release.
ESPN producer Malinda Adams contributed to this report.