life sentence

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Klansman Who Killed 4 Girls Up for Parole

Thomas Blanton has served only 15 years for deadly 1963 church bombing

(Newser) - A Ku Klux Klan member currently serving four life sentences in Alabama for murdering four black girls in 1963 is up for parole after serving only 15 years, AL.com reports. Thomas Blanton was convicted in 2001 of planting a bomb outside a Birmingham Baptist church that killed an 11-year-old... More »

After 9th DWI, Houston Guy Gets Life in the Slammer

Donald Middleton's Texas driver's license was still valid when he was busted the 9th time

(Newser) - Donald Middleton of Texas has been gathering DWI convictions since Ronald Reagan was first elected president, and with nine to his name, he's now been sent to prison for life, per the Houston Chronicle . Montgomery County Judge Kathleen Hamilton issued the sentence to the 56-year-old Houston man on Tuesday... More »

Sentenced to Life at 14, What He Did on First Day Out

Barry Massey was youngest in America sentenced to life without parole

(Newser) - Exactly one month ago, 42-year-old Barry Massey walked out of a Washington state prison. It's a day that may very well have never come. At age 14, Massey became the youngest American at the time to be sentenced to life without parole; as a 13-year-old, he and a teen... More »

Texas Man Gets Life in Prison for Drunk Driving

It was his 10th conviction

(Newser) - A judge concerned about public safety sentenced a 62-year-old North Texas man to life in prison for his 10th drunken driving conviction since the 1980s. Ivy Ray Eberhardt of Weatherford, Texas, was sentenced Wednesday. Eberhardt would be eligible for parole after serving 15 years. "Part of my job is... More »

He Was Handed Life in Prison for Pot; Now He's Free

Jeff Mizanskey: 'It's like a dream come true'

(Newser) - After 21 years behind bars, served as part of a life sentence for three marijuana convictions, one of Missouri's rarest inmates will finally walk out of prison. Jeff Mizanskey —sentenced to life without parole in 1994—will be greeted by family members as he leaves Jefferson City Correctional... More »

Judge Sentences Holmes, Defends 'the System'

Holmes formally sentenced to life in prison

(Newser) - James Holmes was an angry quitter who gave up on life and turned his hatred into murder and mayhem against innocent victims in a Colorado movie theater, the judge said today before formally sentencing him to life in prison. "It is almost impossible to comprehend how a human being... More »

One of Missouri's Rarest Inmates Has Shot at Freedom

Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for two decades over non-violent pot offenses

(Newser) - As of this year, Jeff Mizanskey, 62, was two decades into a life sentence "without the possibility of parole" for nonviolent marijuana offenses—something so rare there was no one like him in Missouri and only a handful across the US. Then, after a highly publicized campaign led by... More »

Pope Francis: Let's Abolish Life Sentences

They are nothing more than a 'hidden death penalty,' he says

(Newser) - That Pope Francis spoke out today against capital punishment is no big surprise. But he made headlines by coming out against life sentences as well, reports the Guardian . In a speech to the International Association of Penal Law, the pope urged all "people of good will" to fight for... More »

Judge Tells Killer: 'I Hope You Die in Prison'

Michigan woman angers him with behavior in court

(Newser) - "I hope you die in prison." The phrase was heard in court this week as 31-year-old Camia Gamet got sentenced to life in prison for murder. It came not from a member of the victim's family, however, but from the judge himself, reports MyFox Detroit . Gamet, convicted... More »

Future Sentences Could Last 1K Years —in Prisoners' Minds

Philosophers discuss mind-warping punishments

(Newser) - We could someday see prison sentences radically altered—in the prisoner's own mind, the Telegraph reports. An Oxford philosophers are considering how future technology could, for instance, make a jail sentence feel as though it lasted 1,000 years, they tell Aeon magazine. After all, there are already "... More »

3.3K US Prisoners Serving Life for Non-Violent Crimes

ACLU report slams 'grotesquely' out of whack sentencing

(Newser) - When you think of criminals who get locked away for life with no hope of parole, murderers or rapists might come to mind. But a guy who shoplifted a $159 jacket? He is one of 3,278 prisoners serving such a sentence in federal or state prisons in the US... More »

After Mass Trial, Bangladesh to Execute 152

161 get life imprisonment after 2009 mutiny

(Newser) - A 2009 mutiny of disgruntled border guards seeking higher wages in Bangladesh resulted in 74 deaths; now far more than that are set to die. After a mass civilian trial that began in 2011 and involved 846 defendants, 152 border guards have been sentenced to execution, Reuters and the AP... More »

China Confirms: Bo Xilai Going to Prison for Life

Unsurprising ruling closes corruption case

(Newser) - A court today upheld ousted politician Bo Xilai's conviction and life sentence for corruption and abuse of power in the final decision of one of China's most politically charged trials in decades. The denial of Bo's appeal by the Shandong Provincial Higher People's Court came as... More »

Florida Cops Nab Prisoners Freed By Mistake

Officials trying to figure out what went wrong

(Newser) - Police recaptured two convicted killers who were freed from a Florida prison by phony documents , and authorities shifted attention to finding out who was responsible for the mistaken releases that rocked the state's judicial system. Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, both 34, were captured last night without incident at... More »

2 Fla. Killers on the Loose Thanks to Forged Papers

Charles Walker was supposed to be serving a life sentence

(Newser) - "Oops" doesn't really cover this one: Florida investigators say two murderers, at least one of whom was serving a life sentence, were wrongly freed from the Franklin Correctional Institution in Carrabelle—and they don't know where the men are. The Orlando Sentinel reports that prison officials were... More »

China Sentences Bo Xilai to Life

Onetime party boss will likely appeal, and lose

(Newser) - Capping a dizzying downfall, a Chinese court has slapped onetime political rock star Bo Xilai with a life sentence in prison after convicting him of corruption and abuse of power. "Bo Xilai was a servant of the state, he abused his power, causing huge damage to the country and... More »

Woman Gets Life Sentence After 6th DUI

Jury convicts Texas' Rose Ann Davidson

(Newser) - The first five times Rose Ann Davidson got busted for drunken driving, she managed to avoid lengthy prison sentences. Not so on No. 6: The Austin American-Statesman reports that a jury gave the 44-year-old San Marcos woman a life sentence yesterday. Davidson's first conviction came in 1996, and the... More »

Ariel Castro to Spend Rest of Life in Prison

He accepts plea deal; case will not go to trial

(Newser) - Ariel Castro will spend the rest of his life in prison. The Cleveland man, accused of holding three women captive in his home for about a decade, has accepted a plea deal, reports the AP . He will plead guilty and be handed a sentence of life without parole plus 1,... More »

Gosnell Will Be Spared Death Penalty

Abortion doctor waives right to appeal, takes life sentence

(Newser) - Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor convicted of killing three babies he delivered by snipping their spines with scissors, will not face the death penalty. The 72-year-old waived his right to appeal yesterday's conviction and will instead spend the rest of his life in prison, reports AP . Given his age,... More »

Giffords to Confront Gunman in Court

Jared Lee Loughner set for life sentencing

(Newser) - The Arizona gunman who killed six people and wounded 13, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will be sentenced to life in prison this morning—and Giffords herself will be in the courtroom, Politico reports. A federal plea bargain this summer will put Jared Lee Loughner, 24, behind bars for life,... More »

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