When you hear of a ‘life sentence,’ you probably think of spending the rest of your life in prison. This is what it means, right? Why, then, do judges sometimes give out multiple life sentences to defendants? Sometimes, when somebody has committed a serious crime like murder or rape, multiple life sentences are given out.
In most jurisdictions, you hear about the “life” sentence but it doesn’t actually mean what you think it means. Many of these defendants, in fact, are eligible for parole after a set number of years – like 25. Sometimes, the judge in your case might choose to give you a sentence that leads to “more years than life,” which is a number of years that exceeds the human lifespan.
When This Occurs
Let’s look at an example. Perhaps somebody was registered as a sex offender and, while they were already charged with previous crimes, they were arrested once again for a sexual offense involving a minor. As a result, the judge might choose to give them consecutive prison terms: 15 years for every charge, which would add up to over 100 years in prison. Judges might do this as a way to protect victims and ensure that the defendant will not get out of prison anytime soon.
They do this as a preventative measure, as it is not unheard of for a defendant to appeal a conviction and have the court overturn one. This means that, even when a life sentence is given, a defendant might be back out on the streets within a matter of years. With multiple life sentences against a defendant, it assures that the criminal won’t be able to walk free for many years – if ever.
Have you been charged with a serious crime that could land you in prison for quite some time, and now you have questions for us? We want to speak with you at the Law Office of Peter Blair. Call us for more information on how we can help with your case.