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Author Topic: In which countries does "life imprisonment" mean the rest of their life?  (Read 2072 times)


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Looking at this Austrian case, it is unlikely that the bloke would have been released, regardless of whether he confessed to the murder or not.  But does life imprisonment guarantee that he would spend the rest of his natural life in prison, or is it like the British system?

When did 'life' cease to be life in Britain?

Offline Hiheels

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There's a very good Wiki article on it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_imprisonment
From what I can see it's only Estonia and Nigeria where life literally means life.

There's a map on there showing countries where it's still in force, or abolished.
I've tried to upload it here, but unfortunately it's too big.


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In the US, the Federal government abolished parole, so a life sentence would be a life sentence. However, they screwed up writing the law and it has been revisited several times, I'm not sure just where it stands at the moment. But I believe for persons sentenced after 2000 or 2002, there is no parole.

But most life sentences in the US are handed down by the States, and almost all States have enacted 'life without parole' laws of one sort or another, with the exception, I believe, of New Mexico and Alaska. Some States also have three-strikes laws, which can get one life for one paltry offense too many.

Of course, that should come as no surprise, since the last time I checked the only country with more people in prison than us is China.