Life imprisonment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search

Life imprisonment (also known as a life sentence, lifelong incarceration or life incarceration) is any sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in jail for the rest of his or her life or until paroled. Examples of crimes for which a person could receive this sentence include murder, severe child abuse, rape, high treason, drug dealing or human trafficking, or aggravated cases of burglary or robbery resulting in death or grievous bodily harm.

This sentence does not exist in all countries. Portugal was the first country in the world to abolish life imprisonment by the prison reforms of Sampaio e Melo in 1884. However, where life imprisonment is a possible sentence, there may also be formal mechanisms to request parole after a certain period of imprisonment. This means that a convict could be entitled to spend the rest of the sentence (that is, until he or she dies) outside prison. Early release is usually conditional depending on past and future conduct, possibly with certain restrictions or obligations. In contrast, when a fixed term of imprisonment has ended, the convict is free.

The length of time and the modalities surrounding parole vary greatly for each jurisdiction. In some places, convicts are entitled to apply for parole relatively early, in others, only after several decades. However, the time until being entitled to apply for parole does not necessarily tell anything about the actual date of parole being granted . Article 110 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court stipulates that for the gravest forms of crimes (e.g., war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide), a prisoner ought to serve two thirds of a fixed sentence, or 25 years in the case of a life sentence. The highest determined prison sentence that can be imposed in the ICC, aside from life imprisonment, is 35 years. After this period, the court will review the sentence to determine whether or not it should be reduced.

Unlike other areas of criminal law, sentences handed to minors do not differ from those given to legal adults. A few countries worldwide allow for minors to be given lifetime sentences that have no provision for eventual release. Countries that allow life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for juveniles include Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brunei, Cuba, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, and the United States. Of these, only the United States currently has minors serving such sentences.[1] As of 2009, Human Rights Watch had calculated that there were 2,589[2][3] youth offenders serving life without parole in the United States.[4]


United States

In 2010, the United States Supreme court ruled that sentencing minors to life without parole, automatically (as the result of a statute) or as the result of a judicial decision, for crimes other than intentional homicide violated the 8th Amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual" punishment, in the case of Graham v. Florida.[5]

Graham v. Florida was a significant case in juvenile justice. In Jacksonville, Florida, Terranee J. Graham tried to rob a restaurant along with three adolescent accomplices. During the robbery one of Graham’s accomplices had a metal bar which he used to hit the restaurant’s manager twice in the head. Once arrested Graham was charged with attempted armed robbery, and armed burglary with assault/battery. The maximum sentence he faced from these charges was life without the possibility of parole and the prosecutor wanted to charge him as an adult. During the trial, Graham pled guilty to the charges, resulting in 3 years of probation, 12 months of which had to be served in jail. Since he was awaiting trial in jail, he already served 6 months and therefore was released after 6 additional months.[6]

After Graham’s release, in less than 6 months he was involved in another robbery. Since he violated the conditions of his probation, his probation officer reported to the trial court about his probation violations-a few weeks before Graham turned 18.[6] It was a different judge presiding over his trial for the probation violations a year later. While Graham denied any involvement of the robbery, he did admit to fleeing from the police. The trial court found that Graham violated his probation by “committing a home invasion robbery, possessing a firearm, and associating with persons engaged in criminal activity” [6] The final outcome of the trial was that Graham was sentenced to 15 years for the attempted armed robbery plus life imprisonment for the armed burglary.[6] The life sentence Graham got meant he had a life sentence without the possibility of parole, “because Florida abolished their parole system in 2003” [6]

Graham’s case was presented to the Supreme Court, with the question of should juveniles receive life without the possibility of parole in non-homicide cases. The Justices eventually ruled that it violated the juvenile’s 8th Amendment, protecting them from “"barbaric" punishments and punishments that are disproportionate to the crime committed” [6] resulting in the banishment of life sentences without the possibility of parole in non-homicide cases for juveniles.

The United States Supreme Court considered, in the spring of 2012, the question of whether or not minors should be sentenced, at least automatically, to life without parole for any crime at all, including the only cases stated above in which it was at that time an option: first-degree murder with aggravating factors (felony murder, where life without parole was then given as an option to juveniles, and where an adult in the same context could be charged with capital murder and given life or the death penalty).[7] On Monday, June 25, 2012, according to the Catholic News Service (CNS) news brief posted that day,[8] the Court ruled on the case of Miller v. Alabama in a 5-4 decision and with the majority opinion written by Associate Justice Elena Kagan, that life in prison without parole as an automatic sentence would be considered unconstitutional in all cases in the United States. The majority of the justices, in the opinion, stated that the judge should take into account mitigating factors and other information which are usually of relevance during the sentencing phase. Such factors would include, but are not limited to,: information on the nature of the crime and the victim(s), age, record, potential for rehabilitation and contribution to society, wishes of the prosecution, defense, and the victim's family, maturity level, degree of malice and forethought and degree of participation, aggravating circumstances or accompanying crimes, family environment and related circumstances such as a history of mistreatment, literacy and educational level, psychosocial and neurological development, and many others. For now, a sentence of life in prison without parole could still be handed down for aggravated first degree murder if it was determined after that process to be warranted. The decision was announced on the next-to-last day of the 2011-12 term. Their reasoning was because it violated the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

World view

Life imprisonment laws around the world:
  Life imprisonment sentence is used
  Life imprisonment may only be imposed on men (not on women)
  Life imprisonment laws have been abolished
  Life imprisonment status unknown, presumed legal

Reform or abolition

In a number of countries, life imprisonment has been effectively abolished. Many of the countries whose governments have abolished both life imprisonment and indefinite imprisonment have been culturally influenced or colonized by Spain or Portugal, and have written such prohibitions into their current constitutional laws. The most populous nation to abolish all forms of life imprisonment is Brazil, where a mandatory cap on prison terms at 30 years is provided by statutory law (capital punishment is still constitutionally allowed during wartime, and is applied for military crimes such as treason, desertion and mutiny).

A number of European countries have abolished all forms of indefinite imprisonment, including Serbia, Croatia, and Spain which set the maximum sentence at 40 years, Bosnia and Herzegovina which sets the maximum sentence at 45 years, and Portugal, which sets the maximum sentence at 25 years; Norway has abolished life imprisonment but retains other forms of indefinite imprisonment. The only country in Asia to have abolished all forms of indefinite imprisonment is the Chinese dependency (Special Administrative Region) and former Portuguese colony of Macau also maintains a mandatory cap on prison sentences at 30 years, having inherited the law from Portuguese rule. Three African countries, the Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, and Cape Verde have abolished life imprisonment. The maximum sentence in Mozambique and Republic of the Congo is 30 years, and 25 years in Cape Verde.

In South and Central America, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic have all abolished life imprisonment. The maximum sentence in Honduras is 40 years, in El Salvador is 75 years, 50 years in Costa Rica and Panama, 60 years in Colombia, 35 years in Ecuador, 30 years in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and 25 years in Paraguay.

In the United States, a 2009 report by the Sentencing Project suggested that life imprisonment without parole should be abolished, a suggestion that was met with opposition from law enforcement officials.[9]

Overview by jurisdiction

Summary by country

Jurisdiction (link to details)Life imprisonmentMinimum to serve before eligibility for requesting paroleMaximum length of sentence (under life)Indefinite sentence (excl. preventive or psychiatric detainment)Mandatory sentencePossible other sentenceUnder age of 18 (or 21)Pardon, amnesty, other release
AfghanistanYesNeverNoneYesMurder, terrorism, violation of Islamic lawTreason, drug traffickingYes[citation needed]By President
AlbaniaYes, but only for men above age 1825 yearsMaximum 30 years for all women ??Murder with aggravating factorTerrorism, war crimesunder 18: max. 20 years imprisonmentOnly in extraordinary circumstances may the convicted serving life imprisonment be released on parole
ArgentinaYes20 years, or neverNoneYesMurder with aggravating circumstances; murder of a relative; murder of and/or by a police officer; treasonSerial rape ??By president or governor of a state (depending on jurisdiction)
ArmeniaYes, but only for men20 years or neverMaximum 30 years for all womenNoMurder, terrorismCollaborating with Azerbaijan forces, treason ??By President
Austria[10]Yes15 years (Imprisonment for a definite period)
or never (Imprisonment for lifetime, when clemency is rejected by President)
NoneYesGenocideMurder, leadership of a drug dealer gang, Nazi activism, production or distribution of chemical warfare agents to be used in armed conflict; abduction, robbery, rape and statutory rape if the crime causes the victim's death; sea and air piracy and arson if the crime causes the death of a large number of peopleunder 16: max. 10 years imprisonment
16-17: max. 15 years imprisonment
18-20: max. 20 years imprisonment
Pardon by president
AustraliaYes10 years, 20 years, 25 years, or never; individually set by judgeNoneYesMurder of police officer or other public official, murder in South Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory, aircraft hijacking.Treason, terrorism, drug trafficking, rape, serious child sex offencesunder 18: must have minimum term setCompassionate release by Governor of state/Administrator of territory, or Governor-General
AzerbaijanYesNeverNoneNoMurder, terrorismDrug traffickingYesBy President
BelarusYes25 yearsNone ?? ?? ??Maximum 15 yearsBy President
BelgiumYes10 years, or 16 years for recidivism[11]NoneNoNoneMurderunder 12: never prosecution
12–15: max. detained till the age of 20
16–17: max. 30 years imprisonment[12]
Parole by Conditional Release Commission or pardon by King
BelizeYesNever ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
BoliviaNo (Except in Wartime)Varies, depending on sentence30 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
Bosnia and HerzegovinaNoVaries, depending on sentence45 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
BrazilNo ( except in wartime) [13]Varies, depending on sentence30 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
Bulgaria[14]YesNeverNoneYesNoneAggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, treason, espionage, war crimes, genocide, desertion in wartimeMaximum 12 yearsBy President
CanadaYesbetween 7 to 25 yearsNoneYesHigh treason, murder, crimes against humanity,Various crimes including Robbery, Extortion, and most offenses resulting in death.Yes, but only when tried as adult, with lower parole eligibility date.Compassionate release and pardon by minister of justice
Cape VerdeNoVaries, depending on sentence25 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
ColombiaNoVaries, depending on sentence60 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
Costa RicaNoVaries, depending on sentence50 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
ChileYes40 years or NeverNoneYesNoneTreason, Kidnapping with homicide or rape, Rape with homicide, Parricide, Robbery with homicide or rape.14–15: max. 5 years imprisonment
16–17: max. 10 years imprisonment
By President
People's Republic of ChinaYes10 years for non-violent crimes. Never for murder, rape, kidnap, arson, explosion, putting hazardous materials or other organized violent crimes.NoneNoNoVariousYesBy courts
CroatiaNo[15]Varies, depending on sentence40 years[15]NoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence
CubaYesNever; only pardon by presidentNoneNoMurder, Drug trafficking ??Yes[citation needed]By President
CyprusYes20 yearsNone ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
Czech Republic[16]Yes20 years general
30 or more years if part of sentence[17]
NoneNoNoneSome cases of murder, public endangerment, treason, terrorism, genocide, crime against humanity, use of forbidden combat device or forbidden combat tactics, war cruelty, persecution of population, misuse of international symbolsNo life imprisonment sentenceBy President
DenmarkYes12 years, or never[citation needed]None[18]Yes ?? ??Maximum 15 yearsAfter 12 years entitled to request to Minister of Justice; granted by King or Queen of Denmark
Dominican RepublicNoVaries, depending on sentence30 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence13–15: max. 10 years imprisonment
16–17: max. 15 years imprisonment
No life imprisonment sentence
EcuadorNoVaries, depending on sentence35 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
El SalvadorNo (Except in wartime)Varies, depending on sentence75 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
EgyptYesNeverNoneNoMurder, Rape, Kidnapping, TerrorismDrug offensesYesPardon by president
EstoniaYesNever[19]NoneYes (de facto) ?? ??Maximum length 10 yearsPardon by president[20]
FinlandYes12 years for court release, any time for presidential pardon[21]NoneYesMurder, purposefully killing police officerGenocide, high treason, espionage, war crimes, homicidal terrorist actunder 18: max. 15 years imprisonment
under 21: minimum 10 years for parole request
By president, Helsinki Court of Appeal
FranceYes18–22 years, 30 years, or neverNoneYes, but only if decided by court at sentencingNoneAggravated murder, aggravated torture, treason, terrorism, drug trafficking, crimes against humanity, war crimes, rapeunder 16: max. 20 years imprisonmentBy president, with countersignature from Prime minister and ministry of justice
GermanyYes15 yearsNoneYes, but only if decided by court at sentencingMurder, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimesSee details10 yearsBy Federal President or Minister-President
GreeceYes16 years, or 20 years in cases of multiple life sentencesNoneYesMurder, terrorism ??Maximum 20 yearsBy President
HungaryYes20–40 years or neverNoneYesMurder, after 3 violent crimesGenocide, high treasonunder 18: max. 15 years imprisonmentBy president
HondurasNoVaries, depending on sentence40 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
Hong KongYesIndividually set by judgeNoneYesMurder ??Must have minimum term setBy Chief Executive of Hong Kong, under the recommendation of Long Term Prison Sentences Review Board
IcelandYes16 yearsNoneNoNoneMurder, Hostage taking, terrorism, treasonMaximum 8 years in prisonBy President
IndiaYes14 years or never; individually set by judgeNoneYesMurder, rape, robberyKidnapping, electric theftYesMay be pardoned by President or have sentence commuted by Government
IndonesiaYesNeverNoneYesMurder, terrorism, kidnapping, rape, treason ?? ??By President
IraqYesNeverNoneNoMurder, terrorismDrug traffickingYesBy President
IrelandYes12–30 years or never; individually set by judgeNoneYes[citation needed]Murder, treason, some serious injuries, etc. see detailsSee details ??By President
IsraelYesNeverNoneYes[citation needed]Murder, terrorismKidnapping child with intent to murderYesBy president usually after 30 years
ItalyYes21 years, 26 years, or neverNoneYesMurder, terrorism, mafia association, drug trafficking, human trafficking, treasonAggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery, firearm traffickingunder 16: max. 20 years imprisonmentBy president
JamaicaYes10–30 years or never; individually set by judgeNoneYes ?? ?? ?? ??
JapanYes10 years or neverNoneYesVaries by prefecture (Murder)Death sentence due to foreign aggressionYesBy Emperor
JordanYesNeverNoneNoMurder, terrorism, espionageDrug traffickingYesBy King
KazakhstanYes25 years or neverNoneYesMurder, terrorism ??Maximum 20 yearsBy President
KiribatiYes25 years, or neverNone ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
KyrgyzstanYesNeverNoneYesMurder, terrorism ?? ??By President
KosovoNoVaries, depending on sentence40 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
LaosYesNeverNoneYes ?? ?? ?? ??
LatviaYes25 yearsNoneYesMurder, treason, terrorism, war crimesDrug offenses, rape, robbery, sabotage, crimes against humanity ??By President
LebanonYesNeverNoneNoMurder, terrorism, treasonDrug trafficking and manufacturingYesBy President
LithuaniaYes25 yearsNoneYesMurder, terrorism ?? ??By President
LuxemborgYes15 yearsNoneYesMurder, treasonTerrorism ??By President
MacauNoVaries, depending on sentence25 years (30 in exceptional circumstances)[22]NoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
MacedoniaYes15 yearsNoneYesMurder, terrorismRape, robbery, drug offenses crimes against humanityYesBy President
MalaysiaYes20 years or neverNoneYesMurder, drug offenses, serious firearms/ammunition/explosive offenses, terrorism, rape, sodomy, attack on monarch, violence to parliament, treason ?? ??By Yang di-Pertuan Agong / Federal Pardon Committee
MexicoNo (exception of Chihuahua)Varies, depending on sentence60 years (70 years if murder involves kidnapping)No[23]No life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
MoroccoYesNeverNoneNoMurder, terrorism, treasonDrug trafficking and manufacturingYesBy King / Queen
The NetherlandsYesNeverNoneYes (de facto)NoneAttack on monarch, violence to parliament, several facts constituting an offence resulting in death of (a) person(s) (not manslaughter), manslaughter in combination with other facts, facts with intent to terrorism, treasonunder 12: never prosecution
12–15: max. 12 months imprisonment
16–17: max. 24 months imprisonment
By monarch (almost never granted)
NepalYes20 yearsNoneNoMurder, terrorism ?? ??By president
New ZealandYes10 years, 17 years, 20 years, 30 years or never; individually set by judgeNoneYesTreasonMurder, manslaughter, certain drug relatedunder 18: must have minimum term setSentence may be reduced or pardon granted by the Governor General (Rarely done)
NicaraguaNoVaries, depending on sentence30 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
NigeriaYesNever[24]NoneYes ?? ??No life imprisonment sentence ??
North KoreaYesNeverNoneYes (de facto and de jure)Murder, espionage, treason ??YesBy president
Northern CyprusYesNever; Only pardon by PresidentNoneYesMurder, Drug trafficking, terrorism, treasonEspionage, war crimes, mutiny, desertionMaximum sentence for murder is 24 years; only terrorism related casesPardon by president; requires counter signature from Prime Minister and Minister of Justice
NorwayNoVaries, depending on sentence21 years (can be extended indefinitely if the criminal poses a danger to society at the end of served time), 30 years for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanityYesNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence, people over age of 15 can be sentenced by normal laws or to child protectionNo life imprisonment sentence
PakistanYes25 yearsNone ?? ?? ?? ??By President
PanamaNoVaries, depending on sentence50 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
ParaguayNoVaries, depending on sentence25 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
PeruYes35 years or neverNoneYesMurder with aggravated circumstances, terrorism, treasonSerious kidnapping, violent rape attempted murder ??By President
PolandYes25 years or more—individually set by judgeNoneNoNoneGenocide, war crimes, high treason, murder, assassination attempt of Polish presidentunder 18: max. 25 years imprisonmentPardon by president, Amnesty by act of parliament (last amnesty in 1989)
PortugalNoVaries, depending on sentence25 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
RomaniaYes20 yearsNoneNo; replaced by 25 years imprisonment at age 60.[25]Genocide during wartime, inhumane treatment during wartimeTreason and other grave crimes against the state, extremely grave murder, capitulation, desertion on the battlefield, crimes against peace or humanity[26]Under 18: max. 20 years imprisonment[27]Pardon by President, amnesty by act of Parliament
Republic of the CongoNoVaries, depending on sentence30 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
RussiaYes, but only for man between 18 and 65 years.25 years25 year imprisonment or 30 years in special circumstances for all women and men above age 65NoNoSee detailsunder 18: max. 10 years imprisonmentBy President
Saudi ArabiaYesNeverNoneNoapostasyHomosexuality, Witchcraft, adultery, fornicationYesBy King
SerbiaNoVaries, depending on sentence40 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
SingaporeYes20 yearsNoneYesKidnapping for ransomDrug trafficking, gun crimeFelon detained at the President's discretion. ??
SlovakiaYes25 yearsNoneYesMurder, terrorism, treasonCrimes against humanity, war crimes ??By President
SloveniaYes25 yearsNoneYesMurder, treasonTerrorism, drug offenses, crimes against humanity ??By President
SomaliaYesNeverNoneNoMurder, rape, robberySodomy, adultery, crimes against humanityYes[citation needed]By President
South AfricaYes10, 15, or 25 yearsNoneNo[citation needed]Certain murder, rape and robbery ?? ?? ??
South KoreaYes10 years or neverNoneNoHigh treason, robbery (rape) with deadly outcomes, arson, murder of relative, etc.Counterfeiting or falsification of currencyMaximum 10 years (for certain violent crimes 20 years)By President and requires agreement of National Assembly
SpainNoVaries, depending on sentence40 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
SyriaYesNeverNoneNoMurder, political crimes, terrorism, treasonDrug offensesYesBy President
SwedenYes18 years or never, but parole hearing may be held after 10 years served, thus fixing a much later date for release on paroleNoneYesNoneMurder, kidnapping, arson, sabotage, devastation, hi-jacking, espionage, endangering public health by spread of contagion or poison, disloyalty when negotiating with foreign powers, dealing with anti-personnel mines or chemical or nuclear weapons, treason and (in wartime only) mutiny, insubordination, undermining the will to fight, desertation, unauthorised capitulation, negligence of war preparations and negligence of battle duty[28]under 21: no life imprisonmentBy the District Court of Örebro.
SwitzerlandYes10 years or 15 years; individually set by judgeNoneYesNoneAggravated murder,[29] aggravated hostage-taking,[30] genocide,[31] endangering the independence of the country[32]under 15: no imprisonment
15-17: max. 4 years imprisonment[33]
By Federal Assembly (Parliament)[34]
Republic of China (Taiwan)Yes25 years
10–20 years before 30 June 2006
NoneThird violent crimeAggravated murder, hard drug traffickingMany violent crimes causing death, etc.Banned by Criminal CodeBy President
TajikistanYesNeverNoneNoMurder, terrorismTreasonYesBy President
TunisiaYesNeverNoneNoMurder, terrorismDrug traffickingYesBy President
TurkeyYes24 years (for life imprisonment) or 30 years (for aggravated life imprisonment)NoneYesMurder,treason, terrorism, military offensesDrug trafficking, espionageLife imprisonment for juveniles is commuted to sentences of up to 24 yearsBy President in case of permanent illness, rehabilitation, disability or decrepitude
TurkmenistanYesNeverNoneNoMurder, terrorismTreasonYesBy President
UK: England and WalesYesIndividually set by judge (maximum Whole life tariff)NoneYesMurder, Second serious violent or sexual crimeAll common law offences, rape, inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, treason, aggravated burglary, criminal damage with intent to endanger life, hijacking, destroying or endangering safety of an aircraft, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of a firearm with criminal intent, use of a firearm to resist arrest, terrorismunder 21: no whole life tariffCompassionate release and pardon by Secretary of State for Justice; amnesty by Royal decree alone or with Act of Parliament (last amnesty in 1747).
UK: ScotlandYesIndividually set by judgeNoneYesMurder ??No whole life tariffCompassionate release by Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Scottish Government); amnesty by royal decree alone or with act of parliament
UK: Northern IrelandYesIndividually set by judgeNoneNo[35][36]Murder, RapeRobbery ??General release through a referendum based agreement in 1998 (became applicable in 3 cases i, ii, iii)
UkraineYes25 yearsNoneNoMurder with aggravating circumstances ??Maximum 15 yearsBy President
United StatesYes15 years minimum to Infinite, or never (depending on crime and state)NoneYesVaries by stateVaries by stateYes (see above)By president or governor of a state (depending on jurisdiction)
UruguayNoVaries, depending on sentence30 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence ??No life imprisonment sentence
UzbekistanYes, but only for man between 18 and 60 years.25 years or neverNoneNoNoneAggravated murder, terrorismMaximum 10 yearsBy President
Vatican CityYes21 years, 26 years, or neverNoneNoMurder, Assassination of the pope, attempted assassination of the pope, terrorismTreasonNoBy President of Italy, in the case of Italian judicial proceedings; by the Pope, in the case of judicial proceedings conducted directly by the Vatican City State.
VenezuelaNoVaries, depending on sentence30 yearsNoNo life imprisonment sentenceNo life imprisonment sentence??No life imprisonment sentence
VietnamYesNeverNoneYes (de jure) ?? ??under 16: max. 14 years imprisonment
16-17: max. 18 years imprisonment
Usually amnesty after 20–30 years[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ The University of San Francisco Law School’s Center for Law & Global Justice has found no cases outside of the United States in which the sentence is actually imposed on juveniles.
  2. ^ "State Distribution of Youth Offenders Serving Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP) | Human Rights Watch". 2 October 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Stats by State « The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth". Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  4. ^ "The Rest of Their Lives: Life without Parole for Child Offenders in the United States", 2008.
  5. ^ "Supreme Court restricts life sentences without parole for juveniles – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. 17 May 2010.,0,276108.story. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Drinan, C.H. (2012, March). Graham on the ground. Washington Law Review, 87(1), 51-91. Criminal Justice Abstracts. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  7. ^ "Criminal justice: Supreme Court to consider constitutionality of life without parole for young killers". Chicago Tribune. 19 March 2012.,0,262259.story. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Kevin Johnson (22 July 2009). "Report wants life without parole abolished". USA Today.
  10. ^ "section 18 of the Austrian criminal code". Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  11. ^ (French)(Dutch)Law proposal (law still hasn't changed) Belgian senate. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  12. ^ (Dutch)Jeugdsanctierecht in Europa: is uithandengeving een evidentie? Jura falconis, jg 44, 2007-2008, nr 1, p. 3-38
  13. ^ Brazil's Constitution prohibits the death penalty with a saving allowing the death penalty in wartime, if the state of war is duly declared by Congress (art. 5, item XLVII, subitem "a)"); the Constitution's next line (art. 5, item XLVII, subitem "b)"), prohibits life sentences. The clause prohibiting life imprisionment does not contain a saving similar to the death penalty clause, and thus life sentences are not allowed even in wartime. It is unclear, however, if the Presidential power of mercy, that allows the President to pardon or commute a penal sentence, could be used to reduce a death penalty imposed in wartime, transforming it into a sentence of life imprisionment.
  14. ^ "Criminal code of the Republic of Bulgaria". Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  15. ^ a b Kovčo Vukadin, Irma; Žakman-Ban, Vladimira; Jandrić-Nišević, Anita (2010). "Prisoner Rehabilitation in Croatia" (PDF). Varstvoslovje, Journal of Criminal Justice and Security 12 (2): 143–162. ISSN 1580-0253. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  16. ^ "Czech Criminal Code". Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  17. ^ (The court may decide that only the time in less-than-maximum security prison counts for the purposes of parole and that the convict must serve at least ten years in maximum security; good behavior record needed for transfer to lower security in which 20 years must be served then)
  18. ^ af ptho for TV 2 Nyhederne. "Hvorfor er livstid kun 16 år i Danmark? – TV 2 Nyhederne". Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  19. ^ "Comparative Criminology | Europe – Estonia". Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  20. ^ "Estonia releases first life prisoner – BONJOUR L'ESTONIE". 6 November 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  21. ^ "Oikeuslaitos – Imprisonment and community service". Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  22. ^ "Código Penal – Art. 1 a 100" (in Portuguese). Imprensa Oficial (Government Printing Bureau). 14 November 1995. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
  23. ^ For details of new rulings from Mexican Supreme Court, see: "Wanted Fugitive Raul Gomez Garcia Extradited to the U.S." (US Embassy in Mexico)[dead link] and Mexico alters extradition rules (BBC News))
  24. ^ Name (required) (19 November 2008). "6 NIGERIAN SOLDIERS BAG LIFE IMPRISONMENT « connectafrica". Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  25. ^ "Criminal Code of Romania, art. 55". Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  26. ^ C. Mitrache, C. Mitrache (2010). Drept penal român. Universul Juridic. pp. 198.
  27. ^ "Criminal Code of Romania, art. 109". Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  28. ^
  29. ^ art. 112 Swiss Criminal Code
  30. ^ art. 185 Swiss Criminal Code
  31. ^ art. 264 Swiss Criminal Code
  32. ^ art. 266 Swiss Criminal Code
  33. ^ (French)art. 25 Juvenile Criminal Code
  34. ^ art. 173 al. 1 let. k Constitution of the Swiss Confederation
  35. ^ Belfast Telegraph Fury over ruling that could see Attracta’s killer freed Saturday, 28 June 2008
  36. ^ Neutral Citation No.[2008] NICA 27

External links