how long is a life sentence
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How Long Is A Life Sentence? – United States Legal Guides

| March 20, 2021 | Last Updated on: April 20, 2021

A life sentence is one of the capital punishments in the United States of America. When someone receives a life sentence, his life is over. In simple words, the convicted person is required to stay in prison for 15 years with the possibility of parole. In this article, we are going to delve deeper into knowing how long a life sentence is. 

Since you are reading this article, chances are you take a keen interest in law and want to know the basics of life sentences. If that is the case indeed, then read this article to know some amazing facts about life sentences. We are also going to take a look into some of the longest life sentences that prisoners have served.    

So without wasting any further time, let us get started in knowing how long is a life sentence. 

How Long Is A Life Sentence? 

How Long is a prison sentenceA life sentence is one of the forms of capital punishment in the United States. It means the person is going to stay in prison for the rest of his life. Normally the term of a life sentence is 15 years, but it depends on a lot of factors. 

Now you may be wondering if the sentence is for just 15 years, then why is it called a life sentence? This is because the convicted person is allowed to live the rest of their lives on parole. Parole is granted to prisoners who show good behavior during their time in prison. 

In severe cases, though, the judge is not granted parole, and the prisoner has to stay in prison for the rest of his life. I hope this answer has cleared the basics of how long is a life sentence.   

What Happens When The Accused Receives Multiple Life Sentences?

I am sure oftentimes you have noticed or heard people getting multiple life sentences; it basically means that they are required to serve 15 years for each life sentence. For instance, if someone has received three life sentences, he has to spend 45 years in prison before they can opt for parole. 

So I hope you know the answer to how long is a life sentence. The number of life sentences given to a person totally depends on the judge and the gravity of the crimes he has committed. 

If the judge feels that releasing the person back to the community could serve as a potential threat, then he may extend the life sentences, and if he feels that he is not a danger to the community, then the judge can reduce the life sentences of the accused. So now, let us take a look at the longest life sentences ever served. 

Longest Life Sentences Ever Received 

These are the longest life sentences ever received by criminals. 

1. Charles Scott Robinson

Charles Scott Robinson

  • Prison Time Received: 30,000 years
  • Country: The United States of America
  • Crime Committed: Child Abuse

You must know the story of Charles Scott Robinson to know how long is a life sentence. He received six life sentences, each spanning 5000. He was convicted of sexual assault on a little girl who was only three years old. 

The judge of the court saw him as a threat to society and made sure he could never walk free again.   

2. Dudley Wayne Kyzer

Dudley Wayne Kyzer

  • Prison Time Received: 10,000 (3 life sentences)
  • Country: USA
  • Crime Committed: Murder

Often referred to as a “born-killer,” Dudley Wayne Kyzer is one of the most dangerous serial killers that ever lived. He is responsible for killing his wife, his mother in law and an innocent college girl. 

He was originally sentenced to death by electric chair, but later, the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment with three life sentences, spanning more than 10,000 years. This perfectly answers the question of how long is a life sentence. 

3. Martin Bryant

Martin Bryant

  • Prison Time Received: 1035 years (35 life sentences)
  • Country: Australia
  • Crime Committed: Mass Murder

Martin Byrant is an Australian mass murderer who is responsible for killing 35 people. He is one of the dangerous mass murderers that ever lived. 

His activities were referred to as the Port Arthur Massacre. He was sentenced to 1035 years in prison without the possibility of parole. 

4. James Eagan Holmes

James Eagan Holmes

  • Prison Time Received: 3318 years (12 life sentences)
  • Country: The United States of America
  • Crime Committed: Mass Murder 

The story of James Eagen Holmes will answer the question of how long is a life sentence. He is an American mass murderer who is also an Internet sensation, Colorado and Aurora back in 2012. 

You would be surprised to know that James Eagan Holmes walked in the middle of The Dark Knight Rises shooting. He gunned down a lot of members of the crew. He was responsible for gunning down 12 people and injuring 70 others. Also, he received life sentences for each of the victims killed.  

Read Also: A Beginner’s Guide To Personal Injury Law

5. Rene Lopez

Rene Lopez

  • Prison Time Received: 1503 years.
  • Country: The United States of America
  • Crime Committed: Child Abuse  

Rene Lopez is one of the most notorious child abusers of all time. He was sentenced to a prison time of 1503 years. It is one of the longest prison times ever served. He was sentenced to life on account of child abuse. 

In Fact, he has been sexually abusing his daughter for over four years. According to sources, his daughter was first abused by her friends. And when she went to Lopez, Lopez, instead of protecting her, abused her even further.

Final Thoughts

There you go, that was the answer to how long is a life sentence. In normal situations, it is 15 years with the possibility of parole. The severity of the crimes dictates how long a life sentence is going to be. 

I hope this article has given you some insights into how long life sentences can be. I hope that you have found this article to be informative. If you have any questions or feedback for us, kindly drop them in the comment section down below. We will try to reply to each one of them.

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Juliana Murray
Juliana Murray

Juliana Murray is the woman behind TheLegalGuides, a blog solely focused on legal guides, tips, and advice. Juliana is passionate about Legal and blog TheLegalGuides in her free time. Online Marketing Tools, Smart Business Daily, Emblem Wealth, RSL Online, SB News Room, TechNetDeals & TechTrendsPro & OnlineHealthMedia & FollowTheFashion.


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