Talk:Life imprisonment

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article says congo and cape verde do have maximum sentence but map does not reflect this — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:08, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

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On the chart, the colors chosen seem to reflect an anti-life-in-prison point of view. The red can easily be viewed as negative, and the blue as positive. Would it be better to change it to blue and yellow or something? (talk) 18:11, 26 May 2011 (UTC)


i was under the imression that life in australia was generally around 25 years (at least in victoria) Xtra 21:57, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

In the us, cant the state leader (i dont remember what they're called, im not an american) grant a reprieve, as well as the president? SECProto 00:00, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)

They're called governors. The president can only grant repieves for federal crimes. Most crimes are state crimes. Usually state governors can, but in some states they need permission from a special council or the state supreme court. (Alphaboi867 22:52, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC))
In some states it's also not possible to pardon people who've been sentenced to some sentences. Usually this is those sentenced to life without parole, but I remember a guy in Arizona was sentenced to 200 years in prison for 20 child pornography images, and, as part of the law, his sentence is ineligible for parole, pardon, or commutation. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC).

Mystery Prisoner?[edit]

I have served more than thirty two years for a crime I didn't commit. I havent killed anyone yet. What most is interesting is that, out of all the millions of people who populate the entire world, NOT ONE cares enough to help me. NOT ONE. Says everything doesnt it?

who are you? ---

I'll try to shed some light. I ip tracked the adress of the person who wrote this statement to Mackay, Queensland, Australia. ip: city code:AUQLMACK There is no prison in Mackay according to List_of_Australian_prisons_and_detention_centres. If he is there for life, likely from Capricornia Correctional Centre. But, this is in Rockhampton and it is doubtful that the ip tracker would be that fart off although posible especially if the prison was located in the country. This post was written a while ago April 3 2005 and there has been no responce. If it's a joke, he's a little off on the date, if not, I applud the courage of those in jail who are innocent. Blue Leopard 10:39, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Interpretation in Europe[edit]

With regards to the "United Kingdom" interpretation, shouldn't that be, specifically, England and Wales? I was under the impression that the legal system in Scotland was quite separate and distinct from the rest of the UK, and so what is the case in England and Wales isn't necessarily so in Scotland. AnIco 03:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

You're absolutely right, I've changed it. Richard75 19:08, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Concurrent vs. Consecutive[edit]

In the United States, when multiple life sentences are handed down, they may be concurrent or consecutive. I am trying to learn what the difference is between these and I'm not finding much online. I have seen things like "Based on these changes, Mr. Peltier seeks to have his sentence reduced from two consecutive life sentences to two concurrent life sentences." So it is apparent that consecutive is seen as worse than concurrent, but why? Does concurrent offer the possibility of parole where consecutive does not? What other differences are there between them? -Etoile 14:57, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Very generally, when a sentence, inclduing a life sentence, is consecutive with any other sentence (life or determinate) then the minimum time for consideration of parole is cumulated between the sentences. When sentences are concurrent, the minimum time for parole for the longest applicable sentence is used. For example, consider a state that allows parole after one-third of a determinate sentence, and after 14 years of a life sentence. If a person is sentenced to life for, say, murder, and 20 years for robbery, and the sentences are consecutive, then the offender will be considered for parole after 20 years 8 months. If the same sentences are concurrent, parole will be considered after 14 years. Under the same scheme, if a person receives two consecutive life sentences, he will be eligible for parole after 28 years; if concurrent, 14 years.
As noted, in federal sentencing for offenses after Dec. 1, 1987, it is basically immaterial whether a life sentence is consecutive with any other sentence, since parole is unavailable. Ellsworth 01:32, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Well that is good. Parole shouldn't be avaliable for all people with life sentences that commit multiple crimes. Concurrent doesn't make much sense.. if you do many crimes, you should do both the times. Jeydo 19:40, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Generally, a concurrent sentence is given when the separate offences arise out of the same set of facts. One of the overriding principles of sentencing is totality: the sentence should not be disproportionate given the entire scenario. If you were to simply add on time for every offence committed in a given scenario it would lead to very lengthy prison sentences for rather minor crimes. It is not, strictly speaking, a two-for-one deal where the accused commits a series of separate crimes and gets one sentence to cover them all. Of course, some people would like to see longer prison terms imposed - that could be achieved with legislation rather than abolishing concurrent sentencing.

Consecutive means the terms are served one after the other and concurrent means at the same time.

The Japanese Life Sentence[edit]

I just noticed that the Japanese paragraph for life sentencing is written in Engrish, can anyone change it to make it grammatically correct?

It was vandlailized a few weeks back. I restored it to the original version with has more information and is grammatically superor. -- 02:23, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Length of life sentence[edit]

Someone inserted the following into the "United States" section a few minutes ago: "Some state use to have life senctences determained, one state 87 while another state 93. " Someone else deleted this as a "nonsensical" statement, but I think it just needs its grammar fixed and to be verified with references. Apparently what it means is that some states specified that a "life" sentence in prison meant 87 or 93 years. --Coppertwig 20:05, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

United States three-strikes law[edit]

I changed the wording of the United States section because it seemed to have an unbalanced WP:POV: in particular, it discussed how people were given life sentences for relatively small offenses, without mentioning that the defendants were repeat offenders – the only hint was "see three-strikes law for more information" at the end of the paragraph. It also stated that the Supreme Court's reason for allowing these decisions to stand is that they didn't involve "torture", which did not actually seem to be a major topic in the cases cited. --Closeapple 18:39, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

A remark on Israel[edit]

The stated assertion that there is a life imprisonment without a right for parole for minors in Israel is incorrect. Unfortunately provided the cite does not work. However there is a Minors Law (Judgement, Punishment and Handling)( in Hebrew), stating in Clause 25 the following:

b. If a person was a minor (he is less than 18 - Clause 1) at the crime commitment day, a capital punishment may not be inflicted on him; and despite all other Laws there is no obligative life imprisonment, obligative imprisonment, or minimal punishment.

The Criminal Law (, Clause 49, explicitly says that any convicted prisoner that is not convicted with obligative life imprisonment, may be released after serving a halve of two thirds of a sentence, by parole board.

Therefore I remove the reference of Israel.

Roman Barsky. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:17, 11 April 2007 (UTC).

The page mentions the following line:

The ETA member Jose Mari Sagarudi is currently the person who has spent most years in prison in entire Europe (he is in prison since 1980).

However in the section Ireland it is said that some peope have served in excess of 30 years - clearly only one of these can be true? Irresistance 20:33, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

As the relevant Hebrew entry in wikipedia ( explains, with a reference to the appropriate law (clause 41 of the criminal law), if a person (at least one who is at least 18 years old) is convicted of a crime that has a mandatory life sentence, he is imprisoned indefinitely. The president *may* set the sentence to a limited time, and unless he does that - the criminal will not be eligible for parole. Roman Barsky mentioned clause 49 of the criminal law - that clause was cancelled.

Specifically, Yigal Amir is an example - no president has, yet, set his punishment for a limited time.

I think this is a good citation for indefinite incarceration in Israel, at least for adults. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:45, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Contradiction about South Africa[edit]

"About a dozen countries worldwide allow for minors to be given lifetime sentences that have no provision for eventual release. Of these, only some — South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States — actually have minors serving such sentences, according to a 2005 joint study by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Although South Africa does allow life imprisonment for children below 18 years of age, it is not without the possibility of release."

So does South Africa have life sentences for minors without possibility of release, or not? This paragraph is self-contradicting. 11:28, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Where is Africa?[edit]

I understand that there is no section for Africa, (there might not be a qualified enough editor to add this section), but why is South African Life imprisonment law under the juvenile section?
Should it not be under its own Continent/Country like all the others? FFMG (talk) 18:17, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Mandatory Life Without Parole and Juvenile Mandatory Life Without Parole[edit]

It seems odd that we do not note that the US is one of only two or three countries that have Life Without Parole sentences for Juveniles, and that in many states these sentences are mandatory even when the child was not as principal actor in the crime. See The Rest of Their Lives. Simesa (talk) 01:38, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Standardized Format[edit]

Right now I notice that most of the descriptions are... essentially, just talking and using different descriptions. It makes it very hard to read, and this would be much simpler if it was placed in a more "skim-friendly" standard format. I think it's possible, and someone could do it. Maybe even I could. Thoughts? [[User:Patricoo|Patricoo}} —Preceding comment was added at 17:43, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

England & Wales[edit]

I have inserted "On 23 July 2008, Bieber was told by the High Court that he would not have to serve a full life sentence, as originally recommended by the trial judge, but would still have to serve a minimum of 37 years before being considered for parole, meaning that he is set to remain in prison until at least 2041 and the age of 75."

Before it read that he was awating the outcome of an appeal so I'm not sure how relevant Beiber is to the purpose of the text. I merely added this as a placeholder, maybe someone else could decide whether, since his appeal was successful, he is still in the relevant context.

The inserted quote is from Bieber's own page. It's merely an update. I'm new to this and I am not sure how to reference. Maybe someone could clean it up.


Sapient Pearwood (talk) 20:42, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

i am ashamed to say that i am his daughter i tryed to forgive him but relized i couldn't even know that he is dead i can't understand what and why he did what he did i feel very sad for the victims family (talk) 03:52, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

This article is nonsense, how on earth can someone write that the minimum term for a life sentence is 15 years? The High court has just resentenced Frances Inglis to Life with a minimum of 5 years. This is why wikipedia is a total joke.

Germany and Greece[edit]

Who wrote these countries in the second part of the article, which names "Countries without life imprisonment "?! At present both of them simultaneously be in a number of the countries where life imprisonment laws have been abolished and in a number of the countries retains it. This is a vandalism or a stupidity! Валерий Пасько (talk) 10:40, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

In addition, I am pretty sure "Lebenslänglich" in Germany means only 25 years maxmimum. Afterwards it is possible that the judge adds "Sicherheitsverwahrung" but I do believe that is a seperate court order and life in prion means only 25 years. (talk) 15:28, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

The article states, that there is no idefinite sentence in Germany. But de facto there is sill "nachträgliche Sicherheitsverwahrung" a method through which a life sentence can be extended without prior court order. This has been rendered illegal by the European court, but most prisoners haven't been released yet because politicians are still thinking up a way how to keep those people in custody without calling it prison. So the "No" under no preventive detention and indefinite sentence is definitely not true. -- (talk) 23:24, 23 July 2011 (UTC)


Instead of saying North or South Korea, it just says Korea. Someone fix this. Reenem (talk)

Odds are it's meant for the South, so I'll fix it. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 11:03, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

"imciety" is not a word in the English language[edit]


Life imprisonment can be imciety.

"Imciety" is not in the dictionaries I checked, not even as an archaic word. So another word should be used.

Some references in google books turn out to be to "impiety", but "impiety" (scorning someone else's god) makes no sense in the context. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Keith2468 (talkcontribs) 01:24, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I found out it got vandalized on June 23rd and never got fixed from what it had, but I now corrected it back to what it said. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 10:17, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Life Imprisonment in Mexico[edit]

The article states that Life Imprisonment without parole is prohibited in Mexico, but that does not mean Life Imprisonment is illegal. It only means Prisoners are granted a review after a given period of time, but the actual sentence might actually be imposed and it is theoretically possible for a prisoner to live out the rest of his or her life in Prison. Therefore, Life Imprisonment in Mexico should be moved to the "countries with Life Imprisonment" section.

Reenem (talk)

The supreme court of Mexico decided that people must be released after 40 years. (talk) 21:49, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Towards a proper list in form of a table[edit]

The following categories could be included:

! Jurisdiction ! Life imprisonment ! Minimum length to request parole ! Maximum length of sentence ! Indefinite sentence (excl. security or psychiatric detainment) ! Mandatory sentence ! Possible other sentence ! Under age of 18 or 21 ! Pardon


Would it be possible to list the countries in actual alphabetical order (A-Z)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:02, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done--Roentgenium111 (talk) 18:16, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Confusing Map[edit]

Is the map not rather confusing, due to the official "idea" of a Life Sentance differing from country to country?

Especially since it states "Blue indicates those countries where life imprisonment laws have been abolished". You could argue that that's also the case in the UK and such, where life doesn't mean life etc.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kurtle (talkcontribs) 22:59, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

No, not really. Red means there is a sentence which called "life imprisonment". This means the person will be a prisoner for the rest of their life. This person might not have to stay in prison after some time (10-30 years or whatever) and can be elsewhere on a licence, but can be instantly called back if necessary by a prison board. In counties (blue) where there is no such sentence, a person is free at the end of their sentence and can only go back to prison after being convicted by a court of law. Hope that makes sense. The extract below from the intro makes this rather clear. Mootros (talk) 15:06, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Mootros, your claim is incorrect at least for Germany: someone released after serving a "life sentence" cannot be returned to prison unless he is convicted of a new crime. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 19:55, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

The life sentence in Switzerland does not fit the definition. The state can only hold you for 20 years then you are free unless admitted to permanent detainment due to insanity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Reafdaw (talkcontribs) 17:43, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

The map should be changed to depict Russia in red, unless this article fails to mention "certain restrictions" there. (What's "certain restrictions" in the map supposed to mean, anyway? No country will sentence all its criminals to a life penalty, presumably, so there are always some restrictions on its use...) --Roentgenium111 (talk) 16:11, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Indefinite Sentence[edit]

Currently, the table says that Canada does not allow an indefinite sentence. The "dangerous offender" designation allows for an indefinite sentence. Is this considered "preventative" and thus the table says that Canada does not allow an indefinite sentence? AlkaloidMan (talk) 01:28, 8 January 2011 (UTC)AlkaloidMan


It seems that the table has erroneous information on life sentencing in Sweden of minors, as it states that it's applicable from 15 years of age. The correct information is that life sentencing is only applicable to offenders older than 21 years at the time of the crime. For offenders younger than 21, special consideration should be given to their age and the maximum sentence is ten years imprisonment (see the Swedish penal code (1962:700, chapter 29, section 7,, english translation (pdf) As I'm fairly new to Wikipedia, I prefer not to mess up the page by correcting this myself and hope for someone else to do it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:48, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Done. Prolog (talk) 14:23, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Indefinite sentencing in Canada[edit]

Canadian law does provide for indefinite sentencing. The appropriate change has been made to the main article: (talk) 02:31, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Maximum imprisonment for juveniles in the Netherlands[edit]

Dutch law doesn't allow sentences of more than 12 months imprisonment for juveniles aged 12 - 15 and 24 months imprisonemnt for juveniles aged 16 - 17. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Life sentences in Canada[edit]

Criminal Code of Canada section 745.1 notes a life sentence is applicable to persons under 18, and is not limited to first degree murder as stated in table; life is the minimum for any degree of murder. Reduced minimum terms prior to parole for juveniles is the difference.

Mandatory life sentences in Canada, where applicable, do not vary by province as stated. Criminal laws in Canada are federal.

There are crimes in Canada resulting in death that are not punishable by life term, e.g., infanticide; CC s 237. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:25, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

US Section is way too narrow.[edit]

The section on the United States focuses almost exclusively on one case, only dealing with juvenile detention. More emphasis needs to be placed on varying laws between states, types of crimes that earn the sentence, simply anything more than one single case on one single narrow issue. Ftc08 (talk) 15:57, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Parole eligibility in Canada[edit]

Canada's Criminal Code was amended in 2011 to allow for concurrent sentencing for multiple murders -- meaning parole eligibility can be set in excess of the old 25 years. How can the section pertaining to Canada be updated to reflect this? (talk) 02:53, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Summary table[edit]

Is there a difference between "no maximal length" and "indefinite sentence"? If not, the "indefinite sentence" column is superfluous; it's "yes" whenever the "maximal length" is "none". And how can e.g. China and Cuba have no indefinite sentence but neither parole (e.g. for murder in China's case) nor a maximum length? --Roentgenium111 (talk) 16:07, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

A "President" for Monaco?[edit]

I was perusing this table this afternoon, and noticed that the pardoning authority for Monaco was listed as "President." Last I heard, Monaco was a monarchy, with a prince. Does that mean "President of the Government," i.e. Prime Minister, or is the Prince himself the pardoning authority? I imagine this is a simple error, but I didn't want to change it without checking. Thanks! - Ecjmartin (talk) 21:08, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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England and Wales in the Table[edit]

The table entry for the UK was very confusing. It was as through somebody was confusing Life Sentence (a sentence that will affect the person for the rest of his natural life) with a imprisonment for Whole of Life. The term Life Sentence in the UK does not usually mean that the person spends the whole of his her life in prison. This article is clearly about the sentence where people DO spend the whole of life in prison. We have a special term for that called Whole of Life tariff. The article is clearly about WHOLE OF LIFE imprisonment which affects very few people in the UK. See I have therefore modified the table entry. One would not get a sentence of life imprisonment for a Class A drug offense as the table implied before I changed it.

External links modified[edit]

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