The Constitution seemingly believes in this renaissance but, in fact, this is not the case. For our Institutions, it seems that we must stay the same forever, die guilty of transgression already paid for through the loss of our youth, of our ripe age… paid for through our lives and those of our loved ones. Everybody can change and a democratic State should always give a second chance on the basis of objective facts relating to a clear path of rehabilitation. Such change many of us have achieved because we have had the courage to question who we are, by distancing ourselves firmly from the world of crime, because we have reached a level of maturity which enables us to not forget a single moment of the pain that we have inflicted upon our victims through our actions.
To conclude, I would like to say that we cannot deny the freedom of a man on the sole basis of an act which often took place decades ago. We cannot accept it by hiding behind a blackmail which rests upon a shameful obligation to provide information. Society has the right to demand the reintegration of people who have changed, better individuals who respect social rules and regulations, rather than the reformed who have bought their freedom in exchange for confessions, often dubious but well presented, and who will remain, fundamentally, criminals, dangerous assassins with all that this implies for society.
And to you, citizens of Switzerland, of France, of Europe, to you, lawyers and politicians, I would like to address the following question, first posed by a famous lawyer: How is it possible that we tolerate a system without which prisoners are denied human rights? What form of humanity will you leave your children if you have to explain that in Italy there is a monster, ergastolo ostativo , that swallows up those who have erred, which forces those it imprisons to live out a ten-fold sentence?
With what heart will you say to those who will take over in that country, a cradle of civilisation and rights, that there exists a system which entraps live human beings and which strips them of their dignity as men? Dear Laurence, I hope my replies to your questions are exhaustive and understandable. I have written what I feel in my heart because from there come authentic observations from which I suffer bodily every day. I would much appreciate hearing your opinion on the matter. I look forward to news from you. Yours sincerely. These are reforms we have already completed.
Before the Constitution of Honduras did not address the application of life sentencing. However, it was at the root of a reform created that year, in response to the abduction and murder of the son of a well-known politician and ex-president of Honduras Ricardo Maduro, Congressman Zambrano, member of the ruling National Party Partido Nacional , says that they have begun to institutionalize a new Penal Code because of this type of ambiguity.
These three Honduran men joined a prison population numbering approximately 16 thousand inmates, even though the 24 prisons of Honduras only have a capacity for 8 thousand, according to information from the INP. This creates a level of overcrowding of one hundred percent, which forces those imprisoned to serve their sentences under subhuman conditions that violate human rights. What we will have is someone more resentful towards society, and a burden on the State.
The Honduran penitentiary system is in an uncomfortable situation where they have lost upwards of inmate lives to tragic events since due to riots, gang confrontations, and fires deaths on February 14, due to a fire at the National Penitentiary in Comayagua, kilometres 62 miles from the capital of Tegucigalpa, according to data from the National Human Rights Commission of Honduras.
However, this explanation does not bring relief to the issue. Therefore, when a criminal code establishes life sentencing, it is openly violating the basic principle of liberal criminal law. In Honduras registered 14 murders per day, a mortality rate of 60 for each thousand inhabitants, according to the most recent report from the National Autonomous University of Honduras Violence Observatory OV-UNAH , which is For Julieta Castellanos, UNAH president, there is no way to demonstrate a relationship between sentence length and a decrease in crime, much less an inhibiting effect on homicides.
People acquire new techniques for committing crimes and, far from reforming, they come out with more resentment.
This is the context in which life sentencing is being attempted. In , 49, of the prisoners were serving life terms without parole. Among them, 2, were juveniles. The United States are the only country in the world that sentence adolescents to life without parole.
He answered to Prison Insider's questions. Jonathan Simon. First, incarceration rates have increased dramatically over the past forty years: it went from prisoners per , American citizens in to prisoners at the beginning of the 21st century. Today, we reach prisoners per , American citizens. Second, these imprisonments affect mainly groups already marginalized in American society, in particular Afro-Americans for whom incarceration rates have always been higher than for Whites or Latinos. According to Harvard sociologist Bruce Western, one third of Afro-Americans born after serve a prison sentence at some point in life.
Finally, there is a historical dimension to this: while half a century ago jurisdiction considered the committed crime in the context of the criminal records of an individual, these records do not affect the duration of the penalty anymore in the era of mass incarceration. We call this a categorical imprisonment. With the categorical imprisonment, the average time in prison got prolonged too. For example, in , homicide was penalized with 10 to 15 years in prison. Nowadays, prison sentences for homicide range from 30 to 40 years or more.
This prolongation plays a crucial role in the question of life imprisonment. Among them are three hundred women, with men in the overwhelming majority of them. We can distinguish three types of life sentences. The life without parole does not provide any possibility to get out of prison except if a governor pardons somebody. Some states simply eliminated this mechanism, like Florida, which might restore it in case the legislators passed a new law. This would allow prisoners jailed for life to find hope again.
But prisoners on life with parole hardly ever get parole because of administrative powers. These powers are controlled by political forces that build their credibility by defending the most repressive measures against criminality. Indeed, the most important factor for a jail sentence to not be degrading is hope. If multiple people held in prison do not have any hope of early release, the global psychology of the prison is altered and gangs are born. If a prisoner does not have any possibility to get out of prison some day, there is no reason for them to behave well.
Without a conceivable future, they will want to maximize the power and pleasure even in prison itself. Oftentimes prison guards can feel it… and they send them more often to solitary confinement. Life without parole surely has a multitude of effects on the individual, but it also has an enormous moral and cultural impact on American prisons.
However, we have good reason to believe that the actual numbers are even higher as the prisons are overcrowded and adequate psychiatric care cannot be provided to the entire prison population. This subgroup is thus particularly affected. A large majority of people become sick, psychologically, during their jail time because of the length of punishment, which gives rise to a combination of boredom, fear and stress. Prison poses a threatening environment in which actual violent incidents are rare but possible violent eruptions permanently felt.
The overpopulation and lack of privacy contributed to the exacerbation of mental illnesses and the risk of suicides. Compared to other countries, people in US prisons commit suicide twice as often. In the US, the essential rules that link the states in terms of prison politics are constitutional decisions of the Supreme Court. These decisions are based on general principles that have only limited impact on the actual jurisdiction in each state.
There are thus vast differences between the states with respect to access to family, visits, education programs, the level of overpopulation, etc. What is for certain is that prisoners who are in jail forever have hardly any access to rehabilitation programs. Several bills aim for replacing capital punishment with life sentence on the pretext that the latter costs less. This is true to the extent that the legal costs entailed by the execution of a human being are high. However, keeping a person in prison for the rest of their life causes significant costs too, in particular with respect to health.
This is particularly important as the prison population ages and time in prison increases. Many people think that prisoners work and exercise all day long… In reality though, they lead a sedentary life, are overweight, and suffer from illnesses like diabetes, hepatitis, cancer, AIDS and cardiovascular diseases. Yes, this is the ultimate irony! Death penalty and life sentence are two essential elements that differentiate the penal politics of the states. In these states, all criminals have the possibility for parole some point in their sentence.
Recently however many of these states adopted life sentence out of fear to appear too lenient compared to others. From another perspective, more and more states embracing death penalty, such as Texas, also adopt life sentence. At the end of the day, I think that the increase in life sentences is more due to political than to economic reasons.
Even if, as we already elaborated, it has a big financial impact. At the same time, this is also what leaves us with hope for change in the current period of reforms in the US. The crisis of , among others, significantly weakened the states at the budgetary level. But the states also are the biggest payers of the expenses related to these long sentences. In other words, as explained earlier, the older prisoners are very expensive while being less likely to recidivate. Thus, these people are the most interesting to release if the objective is to reduce the costs for states without imposing too big of a risk onto the public.
Since Graham vs Florida and Miller vs Alabama , the Supreme Court has decided that juveniles who have not committed any homicide should not be sentenced for life. The reason is the lack of cognitive and emotional maturity. However, if an adolescent of 17 years violates and kills somebody in a particularly hateful way, the judge still has the possibility to send them to jail for life. It is a manifestation of the fear present in our society, the same that also gave rise to the era of mass incarceration.
It is a result of the generation that experienced a sharp increase in crime rates in the 60s and 70s of the past century. The idea behind life sentence is to see these prisoners as zombies that are indifferent to the violence of their crimes and the harshness of a punishment, and resistant to any effort to change. This is a vision of the human being that is incompatible with their dignity. The good news is that the new generation of millennials, born around the beginning of the 21st century, have a very different perspective. They grew up in a world in which crime rates have decreased.
At the same time, they have to face grave economic and environmental threats. Ultimately, they do not consider prison as an effective tool. My son, who is rather for Bernie Sanders, recently went to an event of Hillary Clinton. Thus, this is rather positive… I think that it is very important to get rid of the death penalty. Once we succeeded in doing so, we will also be able to eliminate life sentence. Get involved Newsletter. About us The team Correspondents Our supporters. Our frightened societies are increasingly resorting to life sentences.
Table of content. Brief history by Pome Bernos Life imprisonment, key dates from the French penal code of to the present day. Find in. In common language, the expression "for life" means "forever. In this context, what does the penal code mean by prison "for life" or confinement "for life? Prison Insider. In France, a life sentence is always rendered with a safety period. What does that involve? Since , a life sentence is considered to be "real" or "irreducible?
Jean-Marie Delarue, when you were the Controller of Detention Centres, between and , you and your team met prisoners who had received very long sentences of 18, 20 and 30 years and sometimes more. What happens to men and women in prison when they are serving such long sentences? Do very long sentences, especially life sentences, allow time for perpetrators of murder, rape, and other crimes to appreciate the nature and gravity of their actions?
What, in your opinion, is most urgent: to improve prison conditions or to shorten sentence time? At what point during imprisonment do you think that the sentence will "destroy a prisoner's hope," to repeat your words, and lose its meaning, if there is any meaning? So you agree with the recommendations of the European Council which proposes re-examining life sentences at the end of the 8 to 14 years of detention.
When one looks at the history of life sentencing in France, we can see that in , the revolutionaries decided to keep the death penalty, but abolish life sentencing. What was the basis of that decision? Last March, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet proposed the introduction of an "effective" life sentence, without any possibility of release, which would be imposed on those committing terrorist acts. How do you understand this proposal and do you think that one day, France will implement confinement for life, as in the United States?
In , with the implementation of security retention in France, have the doors been closed again to one or two additional rounds for those sentenced for life? Yet, it is widely publicized by big media as well as by certain politicians who do not hesitate to seize upon it. There is also political pressure whenever a prominent criminal is due for release. An animal in captivity. But he remains, as if nothing had had any effect on the time.
As told to Anne-lise Fantino. What is the nature of the debate currently surrounding life imprisonment in Italy? I just don't feel it lasting. Sorry Stella but I think your days are still numbered so enjoy the TV spotlight this spring while you still can. Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.
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Life Sentence is an American comedy-drama series, created by Erin Cardillo & Richard Keith, which debuted on The CW as a midseason entry during the. Life imprisonment is any sentence of imprisonment for a crime under which convicted persons are to remain in prison either for the rest of their natural life or until.
Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. Episode Guide. When Stella finds out her terminal cancer is cured, she must learn to live with all the choices she made when deciding to live like she was dying. Creators: Erin Cardillo , Richard Keith. Top-Rated Episodes S1. It is full of movement, of imagery.
It distills a precise mood. It radiates with meaning and yet its sensibility is discreet. When I am experiencing a complex story or novel, the broader planes, and also details, tend to fall away. Rereading them, certain sentences are what greet me as familiars. You have visited before, they say when I recognize them. We encounter books at different times in life, often appreciating them, apprehending them, in different ways. But their language is constant. The best sentences orient us, like stars in the sky, like landmarks on a trail.
They remain the test, whether or not to read something. The most compelling narrative, expressed in sentences with which I have no chemical reaction, or an adverse one, leaves me cold. In fiction, plenty do the job of conveying information, rousing suspense, painting characters, enabling them to speak. But only certain sentences breathe and shift about, like live matter in soil. The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace.
Style and personality are irrelevant. They can be formal or casual. They can be tall or short or fat or thin. They can obey the rules or break them. But they need to contain a charge. A live current, which shocks and illuminates. Knowing — and learning to read in — a foreign tongue heightens and complicates my relationship to sentences. For some time now, I have been reading predominantly in Italian. I experience these novels and stories differently.
I take no sentence for granted. I am more conscious of them. I work harder to know them. I pause to look something up, I puzzle over syntax I am still assimilating. Each sentence yields a twin, translated version of itself.