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FutureStarrCould R. Kelly Get a 'Life' Prison Sentence?
Sentencing decisions are made based on whether a defendant's crimes are particularly egregious. If so, judges are more likely to impose concurrent sentences.
Kelly's lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, argued that a sentence of 10 years would be appropriate considering his age, remorse for the crimes and own past abuse. Additionally, because these acts occurred decades ago, judges should take into account this when making their decision.
A "life sentence" is a prison term that refers to an imprisonement that cannot be released without a Parole Board hearing. Life sentences can be given for many crimes, such as murder and serious violent felony.
In the UK, when courts have determined that a life sentence is appropriate in cases of murder and other serious non-murder crimes, sentencing guidelines will be used to set an initial minimum term before an offender can be considered eligible for release on license. Typically, this would be 18 years; however, a reduction is applied when a late guilty plea to manslaughter is entered into consideration.
Once the court has set a minimum sentence, it must ensure that the offender serves this time before they can be eligible for parole; breaking any of their conditions could mean going back to prison. Reapplying for parole after serving life sentences is very rare and many who try are rejected by the Parole Board.
Parole recipients are released into the community for a short-term period under supervision from a Parole Board (PBC), but can commit crimes again if they violate their conditions or behave badly. Those convicted of life sentences must not reoffend for 25 years after release, and an advisory college for Lifelong Incarceration reviews whether it would be in society's interests to allow them back in.
This area of law can be very intricate, making it wise to consult an experienced criminal defence attorney who will guide you through the system and explain how a court's decision might impact you or your loved one. An experienced attorney familiar with life sentences will be invaluable in safeguarding your future and getting the best outcome in your case.
Minors refer to people under 18 years old. In certain states, juveniles can be tried as adults and face criminal sentences that could include life in prison for minor mistakes. This kind of penalty can turn a small mistake into a lifetime obstacle for young people.
When a minor is accused of a crime, a judge will decide whether they should be tried as either a juvenile or adult. If the offense is serious enough for trial in adult court, however, juvenile hearings will usually take place instead.
Judges may charge a minor as an adult when certain conditions exist. Examples include mental incompetency or severe domestic violence suffered by the child.
Given these circumstances, it may be difficult for a prosecutor to argue that juveniles should be tried as adults and face prison sentences of up to life in prison if found guilty of murdering someone, with the maximum sentence for juveniles reaching life if convicted of such an offense. Furthermore, in cases involving adult-level crimes like burglary or sexual assault, courts often impose presumptive life sentences as part of their sentencing guidelines.
Over the past decade, the United States Supreme Court has made numerous rulings that safeguard children from harsh sentences. Yet these reforms have faced fierce opposition from prosecutors and legislators. Nonetheless, an increasing number of states have passed laws banning life without parole for juveniles and setting mandatory terms ranging from 15-40 years before they can seek parole.
However, many states still maintain an exception: life imprisonment for juveniles who commit homicide. This applies to some of the most heinous crimes such as kidnapping, rape, aggravated sexual assault and armed robbery.
A life sentence is a prison term that requires the defendant to serve the entirety of their imprisonment before being eligible for parole. The length of such an order depends on both the seriousness of the crime and which jurisdiction tried it in.
Life sentences come in many forms. The most common is a one-life sentence that requires you to serve 15-25 years before being eligible for parole. Parole usually comes to those who have demonstrated good behavior while incarcerated.
Some states allow defendants with life sentences to apply for clemency, which could reduce or even remove their sentence. These applications must be made after a certain amount of time has elapsed or if no violations have been committed against the conditions set out in their prison sentence.
Other states may not grant clemency to life prisoners or only those with severe mental illness or who had spent an disproportionately long amount of time in jail prior to their offense. This poses a major challenge for those facing life in prison.
Furthermore, life sentences often come with additional punishments. Those convicted of murder may face the mandatory death penalty, for instance - an especially grave issue since this means the killer will no longer have access to normal life activities.
Furthermore, those sentenced to life often face lengthy prison terms. This is an issue since people could potentially spend their entire lives behind bars - something neither the individual nor society should accept.
Unfortunately, there are a number of people serving two consecutive life sentences. These individuals must wait at least 15 years before being eligible for parole release, which may cause confusion among family and friends.
Ultimately, whether or not someone should receive a life sentence is an important decision that must be made based on what's best for that individual. Having access to experienced legal counsel during this process can be immensely beneficial.
Sara Bennett visited Bedford Hills and Taconic Correctional Facilities in New York City and met with 20 women serving life sentences to gain insight into what a 'life' sentence meant for these inmates. As a former criminal-defense lawyer and now photographer, Bennett uses her photos to illuminate the grim reality so many are forced to endure while behind bars.
Women convicted of violent crimes often receive harsher sentences due to courts and prosecutors not taking gender into account when making decisions about how best to handle their case. Gender-based factors can include experiences with abuse, mental illness, and trauma caused by crime.
Women who have suffered sexual abuse and/or domestic violence often link these traumatic experiences to the crimes they commit and the punishments they receive in court.
In Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, child sexual abuse offences can carry a life sentence due to their potential multiple commission under aggravated circumstances and being classified as a repeat offender.
These laws, known as'mandatory minimums', require prosecutors to administer harsh punishments regardless of an offender's guilt or past trauma. According to The Sentencing Project, these extreme sentences violate international human rights standards and are disproportionately applied to women.
In the US, an alarming 1 in 15 prisoners are women who serve life sentences or virtual life sentences of 50 years or more. This statistic should be deeply troubling to any advocate for fair justice; but especially so for those advocating for women convicted of violent crimes.
According to the Sentencing Project, 33% of these women are serving death sentences and the remaining 25% have life without parole sentences. Most are convicted of first or second degree murder, with 25% being Black.