A Living Death: Life without Parole for Non-Violent Offenses

The expanding wealth of the Prison Industrial Complex is no accident – it takes a whole lot of “Model Legislation” to feed the beast.

Prison Reform Movement's Weblog- America: Land of the Free, Home of the Incarcerated

Inmates are escorted by a guard through San Quentin state prison in San Quentin, Calif., on June 8, 2012.

Lucy Nicholson / REUTERS

Inmates are escorted by a guard through San Quentin state prison in San Quentin, Calif., on June 8, 2012.

 

A sentence of life in prison without the possibility parole seems like it would be a punishment reserved only for the most heinous criminals, those deemed unfit for reintroduction into society. That’s not always the case, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union, which advocates for more lenient sentencing.

The cases documented in A Living Death are not necessarily typical, and many are the result of mandatory minimum sentencing laws, not the discretion of a judge or jury. But some of the stories of the 3,278 people the ACLU counts serving life without parole in federal prisons and the nine states that provided them with data are nonetheless shocking.

The number of U.S. prisoners who received life sentences without parole quadrupled between 1992 and…

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About Susan Chandler

Now-disabled interior/exterior designer dragged into battling conviction corruption from its periphery in a third personal battle with civil public corruption.
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