What to Know About Life Imprisonment

What to Know About Life Imprisonment

What to Know About Life Imprisonment
One of the most severe punishments that may be imposed upon a convicted criminal is a sentence of life in prison. This sentence is reserved for extremely dangerous criminals who have committed atrocious crimes. 
This sentence assists in keeping the public safe from the threat that convicted criminals may pose to society. However, a great deal of debate surrounds life imprisonment. Many people find it to be an effective alternative to the death penalty.
Individuals who oppose life sentences argue that this punishment is often imposed when it should not be and that the use of a life sentence is often unconstitutional when it is disproportionate to the crime that has been committed. People also reason that this sentence is not always successful in harmful individuals off of the street. In theory, life in prison should keep a criminal behind bars for their entire lives. However, this is not always the case.
Next to the death penalty life imprisonment is the most severe sentence that an individual can receive. The term life imprisonment suggests that an individual who is sentenced to this punishment will spend the rest of their life in jail. However, reviewing data and information related to a life sentence will reveal otherwise. These statistics are often utilized by activists who support the death penalty in order to stress the success of the death penalty in keeping dangerous criminals off of the streets.
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the sentence of life imprisonment. Many individuals argue that a life sentence is arbitrary and that there are no guidelines governing the imposition of a life sentence. 
There are no strict parameters controlling what crimes result in a life sentence, though it is generally reserved for individuals who are responsible for extremely atrocious crimes. Who should receive life imprisonment sentences, as well as what crimes should result in a life sentence are subjects that spark a great deal of argument.
Types of Crimes that Warrant Life Sentences
Life in prison is a very serious and severe punishment. It results in the convict being forced to remain in prison for many years. They will only be able to see their family at certain times and they will not be able to take part in activities that they once enjoyed. Generally, a sentence of life imprisonment deprives a criminal of any hope for a future for at least twenty years. Therefore, this punishment is only reserved for the most heinous crimes. 
Individuals who are considered to present a danger to society will be imprisoned. If there is a chance that the convict will become a repeat offender then they will be required to remain behind bars. Individuals who are responsible for particularly atrocious crimes or who lack the moral fiber to respect the sanctity of human life will be sentenced to life in prison. There are a wide variety of crimes that may be punished by life imprisonment in the United States.
Possibility of Parole
Many people believe that an individual who is sentenced to life in prison will remain behind bars until they die. However, this is not always the case. Throughout history incarceration has been used as a method of punishment, as a form of protection to keep dangerous individuals off of the streets, and as a method of deterrence. 
Few people recognize the United States prison system as a place in which convicted criminals can learn, change, and improve themselves. Nevertheless, many individuals who spend time in prison find that they develop new ethics and morals, and they strive to be a better person.
Correctional facilities possess the ability to reform convicted criminals and to reintroduce them into the community as productive and helpful members of society. In order to do this, the parole system has been established in which individuals continue to serve their sentence outside of a prison. They will live and work in a community where they can develop the life and the skills that they need to begin an honest life after they complete their sentence.

Juveniles and Life Imprisonment
Currently, a very controversial and heated debate surrounds life imprisonment sentences for individuals who were responsible for committing a severe crime before they reached the age of eighteen. Serious crimes warrant serious punishments despite the age of the offender. But individuals often question how serious is too serious in the instance of minors. 
Many people and organizations argue that life imprisonment for juvenile offenders constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Psychologists and medical professionals play a very important part in this debate because they can effectively and accurately explain brain maturation and development. 
The argument that is often at the center of this debate is the danger that an individual will present to society twenty years into their sentence. Just because a child is responsible for taking part in a harmful and detrimental act does not mean that they will continue to pose a threat to society when they are adults and better understand the consequences of their behavior.


Without the Possibility of Release and Criticism
One of the most debated subjects in criminal law is the sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole. Judges will often sentence an individual who is responsible for a particularly horrific crime to life without parole. However, this sentence is often used when it is not warranted or justified. The sentence of life without parole suggests that human beings are incapable of learning, changing, or becoming a better person.
There are many instances in which a convicted felon will reform and successfully begin an honest life free of crime and violence. A life sentence without parole gives criminals no motivation to change or to attempt to make something of themselves because they are sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison. 
There are some cases that warrant a life sentence without the possibility of parole. But there are many individuals who are currently in the United States prison system who are living out this sentence and who do not deserve to have this sentence imposed upon them.

Consecutive Life Sentences
It is very common to hear that a convicted felon was sentenced to serve more than one life term in prison. Many people question the necessity of this, as one life term should ideologically keep a prisoner behind bars until they die. Individuals often question how it is possible for an offender to serve more than one life term. The necessity of consecutive life sentences is often argued.
For example, Terry Nichols received 161 consecutive life sentences for his part in the Oklahoma City bombing. While 161 consecutive life sentences is redundant and ridiculous, a consecutive life sentence does play an important role in keeping dangerous criminals off of the street and behind bars. 
In order to understand the necessity of consecutive life sentences, it is first important to acknowledge the nature of life imprisonment and to know that a life sentence does not necessarily mean that a criminal will spend the rest of their life in prison.
Concurrent Life Sentences
While consecutive life sentences are often considered to be harsh, concurrent life sentences are often argued to be too lenient. There are no strict guidelines governing whether an individual will receive consecutive life sentences or concurrent life sentences. Individuals who receive a concurrent life sentence will spend much less time in prison than an offender who is sentenced to consecutive life sentences or to life in prison without the chance of parole.
A concurrent live sentence occurs when an individual is convicted and sentenced on two different counts, but is permitted to serve both sentences at the same time. If the convict has the opportunity to receive parole, then they may only remain in prison for twenty years despite the fact that they were sentenced to serve two life sentences.




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