List of longest prison sentences

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This is a list of longest prison sentences ever given to a single person, worldwide. Listed are instances where people have been sentenced to jail terms in excess of a human lifetime. Note that many national legislations worldwide do not allow for such sentences.

Since the sentence given is not necessarily equivalent to time served, see the list of longest prison sentences served for those who have spent the longest continuous time in prison.

Prisoners sentenced to more than one life imprisonment or to life imprisonment plus additional time[edit]

Name Sentence start Sentence term Country Description
Terry Nichols 1995 161 life sentences without parole  United States Convicted of 161 counts of first-degree murder, first-degree arson, and conspiracy by the state court of Oklahoma for his part in the Oklahoma City bombing of April 19, 1995: also sentenced in federal court for terrorism and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter. Record for most consecutive life sentences ever given to a single individual. Due to so large number of life sentences, adding no parole possibility, it can be also declared as the longest officially confirmed sentence ever handed in the world.
Michael J. Devlin 2007 74 life sentences  United States Convicted of multiple counts of kidnapping a child in 2002, armed criminal action, a 2007 kidnapping, forcible sodomy, child pornography, transporting a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity, attempted murder, and attempted forcible sodomy.
Abdullah Barghouti 2004 67 life sentences plus 5,200 years without parole  Israel Commander of Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades and one of its chief bomb makers. Sentenced for the death of 66 Israelis, he is held in solitary confinement and denied visits. Also the longest officially confirmed sentence ever handed outside U.S.
Gary Ridgway 2003 49 life sentences (48 of them without parole) plus 480 years  United States Serial killer known as the "Green River Killer", who confessed to having murdered 71 women between 1982 and 1998.
Loi Khac Nguyen 1991 49 consecutive life sentences without parole  United States Surviving perpetrator of the 1991 Good Guys siege. Convicted of three murders, 11 attempted murders and 35 counts of kidnapping.
Martin Bryant 1996 35 life sentences plus 1,652 years without parole[1]  Australia Mass murderer who pleaded guilty to murdering 35 people and injuring 23 others in the Port Arthur massacre, a shooting spree in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia on 28 April 1996.[2] Sentenced to the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for each murder, and an additional 1,652 years for wounding 23 people, shooting at 14 other people with the intention to kill, four counts of theft of a motor vehicle, three counts of arson and one of kidnapping.
Ariel Castro 2013 life without parole plus 1,000 years  United States Pled guilty to 937 charges of kidnapping, rape, and aggravated murder.
Chester Stiles 2009 21 life sentences Found guilty of 21 counts of rape of a 3-year-old

Prisoners not sentenced to life imprisonment[edit]

These sentences differ technically from sentences of life imprisonment in that the designated jail times have specific lengths, although in practical terms they may serve the same purpose.

Prisoners sentenced to more than 1,000 years in prison[edit]

Brandon Dale Woodruff (U.S.A.) 2005 7,000 years Parricide of both his parents -
Name Sentence start Sentence term Country Description
Chamoy Thipyaso 1989 141,078 years  Thailand World's longest sentence for corporate fraud according to Guinness World Records 2006. Also the longest, non-life, officially confirmed sentence ever handed in the world. She defrauded more than 16,000 Thais in a pyramid scheme worth $204 million at the time.[3] However, the Thai law of the time specified that those convicted of fraud could not serve more than twenty years in prison, and she was released after only eight.[4]
Khoi Doan 2007 42,924 years  Spain Sentenced for their roles in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Under Spanish law, the maximum sentence that any of them can serve is 40 years.[5] It's the longest, non-life, officially confirmed sentence ever handed in European Union.
Jamal Zougam 42,922 years
Emilio Suárez Trashorras 34,715 years
Charles Scott Robinson 1994 30,000 years  United States Longest jail term to a single American on multiple counts. Also the longest sentence ever handed in the U.S. Robinson was sentenced to 5,000 years for each of the six counts against him for raping a 3-year-old girl.[6]
Allan Wayne McLaurin 20,750 years Accomplice of Darron Bennalford Anderson. Upon appeal, his sentence was reduced by 500 years.[7]
Darron Bennalford Anderson 11,250 years Greatest amount of jail time given as a result of an appeal. Found guilty of crimes ranging from rape of an elderly woman in Tulsa County, to larceny, robbery and kidnapping, and sentenced to 2,250 years. He appealed, was reconvicted, re-sentenced and received an additional jail term of 9,500 years, later reduced by 500 years.[8]
Rigoberto Vazquez Hernandez 2013 7,000 years  United States Perpetrator of a 2013 triple homicide outside of a nightclub in Dallas where he shot three people point blank.[9]
Feanyichi Ezekwesi Uvukansi 2012 7,000 years  United States Perpetrator of 2012 shooting outside a southwest Houston nightclub that left three people dead and two others injured, including rapper Trae tha Truth.[10][11]
Carlos Antonio Carias López 2011 6,060 years  Guatemala Former soldiers sentenced for their roles in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre.[12][13]
Daniel Martínez Martínez
Reyes Collin Gualip
Manuel Pop
Pedro Pimentel Ríos 2012
Henri Parot 1990 4,797 years  Spain ETA member found guilty of 26 murders and 166 attempted murders between 1978 and 1990.
Inés del Río Prada 1989 3,828 years Perpetrator of the Plaza República Dominicana bombing and other attacks by ETA. Released in 2013 after an attempt by the Spanish government to delay her release until 2017 was overruled by the European Court of Human Rights.
Ronnie Shelton 1989 3,195 years  United States Serial rapist known as Cleveland's "West Side Rapist", terrorized Ohioans for over 5 years in the 1980s, amassing 49 counts of rape and 230 criminal charges overall.
Francisco Mujika Garmendia 2003 2,442 years  Spain Perpetrator of the 1987 Zaragoza Barracks bombing.
Moses Sithole 1997 2,410 years, minimum 930 years  South Africa Serial killer responsible for most of the so-called "ABC Murders" in Gauteng province, South Africa. Found guilty of 40 counts of rape, 38 counts of murder and six counts of robbery.
José María Arregi Erostarbe 2003 2,354 years  Spain Perpetrator of the 1987 Zaragoza Barracks bombing.
Antón Troitiño 1989 2,232 years Perpetrator of the Plaza República Dominicana bombing. Released in 2011.
José Luis González González 2012 2,035 years  Mexico Businessman convicted of repeated fraud starting in 2000. Longest sentence ever handed in Mexico.[14]
Thomas Halliday 2013 1870 years, minimum 935 years  United States Convicted of 234 counts of sexual abuse, creating and possessing child pornography for abusing a teenage girl for four years, filming and photographing the abuse.[15]
Henri Parot 1994 1,802 years  Spain For his part in the 1987 Zaragoza Barracks bombing.
Ronald Yarber 2017 1,652 years[16]  United States Convicted of raping a disabled child over the course of twelve years.[citation needed]
Rene Lopez 2016 1,503 years Convicted of repeatedly raping his daughter over a four-year period. Based on a diary in which she recorded the attacks, corroborated by other evidence, he was convicted of 186 separate assaults. He had rejected 13- and 22-year plea bargain deals, as he maintained his innocence.[17]
Juan Antonio Olarra Guridi 2007 1,243 years  Spain Perpetrators of the 1995 Vallecas bombing.
Ainhoa Múgica Goñi
Richard Speck 1972 1,200 years, minimum 400 years  United States Mass murderer who systematically tortured, raped, and murdered eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital on July 14, 1966. Sentenced originally to death in the electric chair in 1967, sentence commuted in 1972. Died of a heart attack on December 5, 1991.
Igor Portu 2010 1,040 years  Spain Perpetrators of the 2006 Madrid-Barajas Airport bombing.
Mattin Sarasola
Mikel San Sebastián
Rayshun Mullins 2019 1,015 years  United States Convicted of guilty of 26 crimes for the attacks including rape, kidnapping, robbery and burglary.[18]
Paul Edward Acton Bowen 2019 1,008 years  United States A former youth pastor who plead guilty to multiple child-sex crimes such as sexual abuse, sodomy, enticing a child for sex, and traveling to meet a child for sexual abuse which included 28 counts involving six boys between the ages of 13 and 16.[19]

Prisoners sentenced between 500 and 1,000 years in prison[edit]

Name Sentence start Sentence term Country Description
Christopher Campano 1994 1,000 years  United States Found guilty of first-degree manslaughter of his wife, Caren Campano, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1992.
Gregory Aaron Gadlin 2013 967 years  United States Convicted on 16 counts of robbery, plus being a felon in possession of a weapon and ammunition.[20]
Shawn Ryan Thomas 2015 915 years  United States Convicted on 59 counts of possession of child pornography.[21] Later sentenced to an additional 30 years after pleading guilty to planning to sexually abuse and murder a 9-year-old girl on camera.
Joseph Dyre Morse 1966 888 years  United States Janitor imprisoned for the rape and murder of a coed in Colorado University. He proclaimed his innocence until he confessed to the crime in 1980. Died in prison in 2005.[22]
Sholam Weiss 2000 845 years  United States Found guilty of participation in the bankruptcy of the National Heritage Life Insurance Corporation in New York. One time featured in the FBI most wanted list. He appealed for a lesser sentence but was denied.[23][24]
David Hall 2015 825 years  United States Convicted of 10 counts of promoting child pornography and 45 counts of possession of child pornography after creating an online blog that traded child pornography. A registered sex offender, he had previously been convicted in 1996 of attempted sexual assault on a 7-year-old child.[25][26]
Domingo Troitiño 1989 794 years  Spain Perpetrators and instigator (Santi Potros) of the 1987 Hipercor bombing.
Josefa Ernaga 794 years
Rafael Caride Simón 2003 790 years
Santiago Arróspide Sarasola a.k.a. "Santi Potros" 790 years
Juana Barraza 2008 759 years  Mexico Female serial killer dubbed La Mataviejitas ("The Old Lady Killer"). Sentenced to 759 years in jail for killing and robbing sixteen elderly women in Mexico City, although some believe that she might have over 40 fatal victims. She beat and strangled her victims using moves that she had learnt as a professional wrestler (ring name La Dama del Silencio, "The Lady of Silence"). The sentence specifies that she will be paroled in 2058, at age 100.
Darrell Wayne Delp 2014 755 years  United States Found guilty on 50 counts of producing child pornography and 10 counts of aggravated sexual battery.[27][28]
Mark Anthony Beecham 2012 744 years  United States Given 99 years each for six counts (one of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree rape and three counts of first-degree sodomy), 20 years for felony first-degree theft of property, and 10 more for felony first-degree bail jumping. Previously sentenced to 120 years for other rapes.[29][30]
Lonnie James Pebley 2012 736 years  United States Sentenced for shooting at police officers with an AK-47 during a standoff.[31]
Antonio Izquierdo 1994 684 years  Spain Perpetrators of the Puerto Hurraco massacre. Died in prison.
Emilio Izquierdo 684 years
Alán Nelson Lozada Garay 2012 617 years, 6 months and 17 days  Mexico Business associate and criminal accomplice of José Luis González González.[14]
Joseph Baldino 2014 525 years  United States Convicted of one count of soliciting for sex over the internet, four counts of transmitting child pornography and 100 counts of possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to five years in prison for each of the 105 counts to run consecutively.[32]

Prisoners sentenced between 120 and 500 years in prison[edit]

Name Sentence start Sentence term Country Description
Bernard Henry McGinn 1999 490 years  United Kingdom Provisional IRA member specialized in explosives. Released in 2000 as per the Good Friday Agreement.
Guillermo Ocampo 2009 480 years  United States Convicted of 13 felony counts including four counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and five counts of lewd acts on a child.[33]
Marc P O'Leary 2011 468 years 6 months Serial rapist, shown as "Chris McCarthy" in Netflix limited series "Unbelievable"; incorrectly listed in the show as being sentenced to 327.5 years in jail. According to the records of the Colorado Department of Corrections he rceieved three sentences of 48 years to life, one sentence of 32 years to life, eight sentences of 32 years, one sentence of 12 years, two sentences of 4 years, five sentences of 3 years, and one sentence of 18 months all related to case 11CR430. He is up for parole in December 2283. *Can't link directly to the CDCC website look up his name or DOC#156342[34]
Robert Hansen 1983 461 years Serial killer who abducted women and hunted them for sport in the forests of Alaska. Died in 2014, aged 75.
José Antonio Rodríguez Vega 1991 440 years  Spain Serial killer who raped and murdered at least 16 elderly women in Santander, Spain. Murdered by two other inmates in 2002.[35]
Dwayne Whitaker 2014 439 years  United States Convicted in San Francisco on two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of first-degree robbery, one count of attempted robbery, two counts of assault and elder abuse.[36][37]
Mark Goudeau 2011 438 years Serial killer and rapist known as the Baseline Killer, who was active in Phoenix, Arizona. Sentenced to 438 years in prison for the sexual charges alone, and to nine death sentences for his murders.
Robert Lee Yates 2000 408 years Serial killer who pled guilty to 13 murders in order to avoid the death penalty. Was sentenced to two death penalties the following year for other murders, but they will not be carried out until the earlier sentence is completed.
Harvey Carignan 1975 400 years Serial killer known as "The Want-Ad Killer".
Antonio Sanchez 1999 360 years  Philippines Former Mayor of Calauan who masterminded the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her boyfriend, Allan Gomez.
Larry Nassar 2018 360 years, minimum 131 years  United States Sex offender who abused at least 150 women during his tenure as Team Doctor for USA Gymnastics.
Kirby Anthoney 1987 357 years Raped and murdered a mother and her two underage daughters in Anchorage, Alaska. The victims were relatives of Anthoney.[38]
Onur Kopçak 2013 334 years, 7 months and 10 days  Turkey Hacker convicted of several charges related to bank and identity fraud.[39]
Norman Schmidt 2008 330 years  United States Promised attractive high rates to hundreds of investors, but used the money to cover personal expenses instead of investing it.[23] Found guilty of fraud and money laundering.[40]
Colin Ferguson 1995 315 years and 8 months+ Perpetrator of the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shooting.
Jesús María Zabarte Arregui 1984 300 years  Spain ETA gunman involved in the September 1982 Rentería attack and other shootings.
Francisco de Assis Pereira 1998 268 years  Brazil Serial killer known as "The Park Maniac" who raped and murdered 11 women in Sao Paulo.
Daniel Holtzclaw 2016 263 years  United States Police officer sentenced for his role in abusing women while on patrol duty.[41]
Thomas Goodman 2019 260 years  United States Rhode Island man sentenced to 260 years in prison for producing child pornography involving multiple prepubescent children.[42]
Jorge Iniestra Salas 2015 241 years  Mexico Sentenced for keeping a woman and 2 girls imprisoned for 5 years.[43]
Bobby Bostic 1997 241 years  United States Sentenced for two armed robberies and a brief kidnapping on the same day. Bostic was 16 years old at the time, and has the longest juvenile sentence in Missouri for non-homicide offences.[44]
Eyad Ismoil 1995 240 years  United States Sentenced for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.[45][46]
Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho 1999 234 years  Brazil Sentenced for his role in the 2006 São Paulo violence outbreak and for the leadership of the Primeiro Comando da Capital, one of the most powerful criminal organizations in Brazil.[47]
Heriberto Seda 1998 232 years  United States Copycat of the Zodiac Killer.
David Parker Ray 2001 224 years Serial abductor, rapist and torturer of women active in New Mexico for over forty years. Nicknamed the "Toy-Box Killer" after the name he gave to the homemade torture chamber in his mobile home, but he released all the victims that were proven beyond doubt to be his, after erasing their memory of the attacks with drugs. He was also a suspected serial killer with up to 60 victims. Died in prison in 2002.
Joel Rifkin 1994 203 years  United States Serial killer known as "Joel the Ripper."
Mikeal Shane Pruett 2015 200 years, minimum 50 years Raped and impregnated his own granddaughter.[48]
Morton Berger 2003 200 years He was convicted in 2003 of 20 counts of second-degree dangerous crime against children in Arizona for possessing 20 pornographic images of children. He was sentenced for 10 years for each count, served consecutively. The Arizona Supreme Court upheld his sentence, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal. The sentence also prohibits probation, parole, pardon or executive clemency.
Velupillai Prabhakaran 2002 200 years  Sri Lanka Leader of the Tamil Tigers sentenced in absentia for planning the truck bombing on the Central Bank of Sri Lanka that killed 91 people and injured 300 in 1996.[49][50] Was killed in action against the Sri Lankan army in 2009.
Howard Christensen 1937 200 years  United States Sentenced to life without parole for the murder of a teacher in 1937, when he was 16, along with a 17-year-old accomplice who hanged himself in prison in 1943. His sentence was commuted to 200 years in the mid-1970s. Died in 2003, aged 82.[22]
Richard Cottingham 1981 197 years, minimum 173 years Serial killer who dismembered women in New York. Nicknamed "the Torso Killer"
Carlos García Juliá 1979 193 years  Spain Main perpetrators of the Atocha massacre. García Juliá was granted parole in 1991, which he promptly broke, and fled to South America. He was imprisoned for drug trafficking in Bolivia in 1996. In 2000 he was sentenced in absentia to an additional 3,855 days in prison in Spain for breaking parole. Fernández Cerrá was paroled in 1992.[51]
José Fernández Cerrá 193 years
Gregory Williams 2017 190 years, fined $4,750,000  United States Convicted of selling 19 unregistered Drop In Auto Sears (DIAS), which can convert semi automatic weapons to fully automatic weapons. Sentenced on each conviction to 10 years (consecutive) and a $250,000 fine.
Diana Franklin 2015 190 years Convicted of physically abusing her adopted daughter.[52]
Francisco Antonio García López 1968 185 years  Puerto Rico Known as "Toño Bicicleta" ("Tony Bicycle"). Original sentence for murdering his wife with a machete. His numerous escapes and later murders made his life part of Puerto Rican folklore. Killed while resisting arrest in 1995.
James Timothy McCarthy 2012 182 years+  United States Convicted of numerous acts of child sexual abuse, including continuous sexual abuse of one child. Sentenced to 32 years in prison followed by 150 to life.[53]
Fernando Silva Sande 2011 178 years  Spain GRAPO member convicted of four murders in three trials, including the killing of two security guards during the robbery of an armored car in Vigo in 2000.
Keith O. Wood 2008 160 years  United States Home invader who raped five women in Pittsburgh between 2000 and 2001.[23][24]
Nathaniel White 1993 150 years Serial killer who beat and stabbed six women to death while he was on parole for another crime.
Bernard Madoff 2009 150 years Admitted defrauding thousands of investors in a Ponzi scheme which had been running since the early 1990s.[54]
Richard Allen Minsky 2001 146 years Used car salesman charged with over 80 counts including rape, assault, battery, extortion, grand theft, larceny, lewd and lascivious behavior, oral copulation, sexual assault, sexual battery, sodomy, and prison escape. Also committed scams in California, Florida (where he was arrested after being featured in America's Most Wanted), Georgia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
Alfredo Galán 2005 142 years and 3 months  Spain Serial killer who murdered six people and wounded three in Madrid. Called "the Deck of Cards Killer" because he would leave a playing card at each scene as his signature.
Robert George Irwin 1938 139 years  United States Artist-sculptor who killed three people over Easter weekend in 1937. Died in 1975.
Gonzalo Rodríguez Cordero 1995 136 years  Spain Perpetrators of the Mutxamel bombing.
José Gabriel Zabala Erasun 136 years
Dwight York 2004 135 years  United States Leader of the Nuwaubian Nation. Convicted of child molestation and financial crimes.[55][56]
Nathaniel Bar-Jonah 1999 130 years without parole Short order cook convicted of abducting, raping and torturing three children, but believed to have committed many more crimes going back to the 1970s. While searching his home, police found a human boy's bone, an African-American male's hair in a meat grinder, and a handwritten cooking book with cannibalistic recipes such as "little boy pot pie", "french fried kid" and "roasted child". Died in prison in 2008.
Pedro Rodrigues Filho 2003 128 years  Brazil Vigilante who claims to have killed 100 criminals, including his own father and 43 other prison inmates. Further sentences added his total count to 400 years, but he was released in 2007 as he had completed the maximum 30 years in prison allowed under Brazilian law.
Joan Vila 2014 127 years and 6 months  Spain Nursing home watchman who poisoned 11 elderly patients between 2009 and 2010.
Colton Simpson 2007 126 years  United States Member of the Crips convicted of robbery, burglary and grand theft, sentenced under California's three-strikes law.
Marco Antonio Sián Chávez 2014 122 years  Guatemala Member of Mara Salvatrucha. Eighty-seven other gang members were given shorter sentences in the same trial.[57]

False claims[edit]

Name Sentence start Sentence term Country Description
Gabriel March Granados 1972 384,912 years  Spain March, a 22-year-old mailman in Palma de Mallorca, has occasionally been mentioned (sometimes erroneously as "Granados" or "Grandos") as the person sentenced to the longest prison term ever. He failed to deliver 42,784 letters, opening 35,718 of them and stealing their contents for value of 50,000 euro (2010 value). In consequence, March was charged with thousands of counts of fraud, wrongful appropriation of documents (one per undelivered letter) and theft, resulting in an unprecedented request of 384,912 years in prison and a 19-million-euro (2010 value) fine by the prosecutor. However, the actual sentence imposed was 14 years and 2 months in prison and a fine of 9,000 pesetas (1972 value).[58][59]

See also[edit]


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