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What Are Criminal Punishments?

When a person is convicted of a crime, they may face a variety of criminal punishments. The punishments range from a combination or one single punishment such as incarceration, probation, or fines. One criminal punishment is called life without parole.

What Is Life without Parole?

Life without parole is defined as a person spending the rest of their life in prison. The criminal sentence does not include an option for parole. In other words, the person will die in prison. Life without parole is available as a sentence for both adults and juveniles.

What Is Parole?

Parole allows an individual to leave prison or jail after serving only a portion of their total sentence. The eligibility for parole depends on each state. In the federal prison system, parole is called supervised release. Many factors go into deciding whether a person receives parole, such as:

  • Public safety
  • Age
  • Mental stability
  • Remorse
  • Time served

Is Life without Parole a Sentence for Misdemeanor Crimes?

No, life without parole is never given for misdemeanor crimes. Life without parole is a sentence given only for especially dangerous criminal acts such as repeat felonies or murder

Is Life without Parole the Same as the Death Penalty?

No. This sentence is often an alternative to the death penalty. If a person is given the death penalty, the government puts the person to death for the crime committed. Many groups against the death penalty, also called capital punishment, want more criminals sentenced to life without the possibility of parole rather than to death.

Is Probation the Same as Life without the Possibility of Parole?

No. Probation allows a person to avoid a jail or prison sentence entirely in exchange for remaining under court supervision. This supervision refers to reporting to a probation officer and following any other requirements such as regular drug testing.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Crimes Involving Life without Parole?

Yes. Crimes involving the possibility of life in prison without a parole option are very serious. If you are facing a criminal charge that, if convicted, may result in you being sentenced to life without parole, you need to talk to a criminal lawyer about fighting the criminal charge.

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 11-24-2015 11:44 AM PST

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