A life sentence could be misleading since it does not mean the criminal convicted of a crime is imprisoned for the rest of the individual’s life. Most of the time, it’s a standard prison sentence along with the chance of being paroled following a specified number of time.
The state’s law dictates the number of times prisoners must complete before they are eligible to be paroled. The total time served could be a percentage, such as 85 percent of the time or a predetermined amount of time – 2 10 15, 20, 25 40, or 99. When you have completed your life sentence or a suitable portion of the sentence is completed, and the prisoner is eligible to be paroled, the parole board will decide if the person in question is eligible to be released on parole or be sent back to prison.
How Long is a Life Sentence?
As we’ll discover how to answer “How long is life in prison?” is not easy. There are several types of life sentences based on the crime(s) that occurred, the state in which the individual was sentenced, and the conduct of the individual while in prison. Specific life sentences have a language that says there is no possibility of parole. In these cases, the only way an inmate convicted can be released is to contest the sentence or conviction and prevail or get granted a pardon. The sections below provide the kinds of life sentences commonly used throughout the U.S. judicial system.
How Long Is a Life Sentence in the Other States?
Michigan laws differentiate between a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole and a life sentence with an option of parole. In Michigan, the mandatory sentence has to be enforced if someone is found guilty of murder first degree or an explosives conviction that causes injury to a person. If convicted of the mandatory life sentence, the individual cannot be released until the sentence is reduced or pardoned in the hands of the governor.
If a person is sentenced to life imprisonment with potential parole, the parole board could be able to consider parole after 10 years if the offense occurred before October 1, 1992. But, the judge who sentenced the person can make written objections and hinder this. If the crime was committed within or after October 1, 1992, the court could decide to grant the possibility of parole within 15 years. In addition, the judge who sentenced you may file objections in writing.
Life Imprisonment in the United States
To better understand, We will describe life-long in prison throughout the United States by looking at two states, including Georgia,
In Georgia, there are two kinds of sentences for life. It is the “Life Without Parole” and with parole possibility.
For the first option case, the minimum required life sentence without parole is 25 years. This is only the case for first-time offenders. For repeat offenders, there is no requirement for a minimum of 25 years of being in prison; you are granted life in prison without the possibility of parole.
It is believed that the United States believes that life without parole (“Seven Deadly Sins”) is fierce even according to U.S. standards.
Reasons for a Sentence of Life in Prison
Life sentences are the harshest words when it comes to punishment, and it’s evident that the offense had to be extremely serious for someone to be able to pay for it by forfeiting their freedom. The first crime in many people’s minds when they think of life sentences, is murder-related crimes. Murder is the most frequent sentence for life. However, other offenses can result in a life-long sentence, too, which include:
- The act of rape (especially when it involves minors and children)
- Wartime Treason (think Benedict Arnold)
- Crimes such as kidnapping, human trafficking, or theft if the victim has been brutally injured or was tortured
- Repetition offenders who commit minor capital crimes may be sentenced to life.
- Specific drug trafficking and drug convictions can lead to life sentences
- Three Strikes
Guidelines for determining if an inmate is qualified to be paroled
There are certain circumstances where an inmate can be considered for parole following being sentenced to life. For instance, a person convicted of a crime before July 1, 1996, is not eligible for parole for seven years. A prisoner convicted of a crime before July 1, 1996, may be eligible for parole following 15 years. The parole eligibility guidelines also apply to life-long sentences for offenses committed post-that date.
If a prisoner is being considered for parole following the completion of a life sentence or sentence of life, the Parole Board must notify the district attorney. The notification must be made when the inmate is scheduled to be paroled for a serious violent crime like killing, arson, kidnapping, rape, aggrieved sexual battery on a child, or sodomy. Additionally, further notification is essential to get the community’s opinion about the offender’s case.