Life imprisonment

Life imprisonment (also known as imprisonment for life, life in prison[1], whole-life tariff, a life sentence, a life term, lifelong incarceration, life incarceration or simply life) 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 paroled or otherwise commuted to a fixed term. Crimes for which, in some countries, a person could receive this sentence include murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, blasphemy,[2] apostasy, terrorism, severe child abuse, rape, child rape, espionage, treason, high treason, drug dealing, drug trafficking, drug possession, human trafficking, severe cases of fraud, severe cases of financial crimes, aggravated criminal damage in English law, and aggravated cases of arson, kidnapping, burglary, or robbery which result in death or grievous bodily harm, piracy, aircraft hijacking, and in certain cases genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, certain war crimes or any three felonies in case of three strikes law. Life imprisonment (as a maximum term) can also be imposed, in certain countries, for traffic offenses causing death.[3] The life sentence does not exist in all countries: Portugal was the first to abolish life imprisonment, in 1884.

Where life imprisonment is a possible sentence, there may also exist formal mechanisms for requesting parole after a certain period of prison time. This means that a convict could be entitled to spend the rest of the sentence (until that individual dies) outside prison. Early release is usually conditional on past and future conduct, possibly with certain restrictions or obligations. In contrast, when a fixed term of imprisonment has ended, the convict is free. The length of time served and the conditions surrounding parole vary. Being eligible for parole does not necessarily ensure that parole will be granted. In some countries, including Sweden, parole does not exist but a life sentence may - after a successful application - be commuted to a fixed-term sentence, after which the culprit is released as if the sentence served was that originally imposed.

In many countries around the world, particularly in the Commonwealth, courts have the authority to pass prison terms which may amount to de facto life imprisonment.[4] For example, courts in South Africa have handed out at least two sentences that have exceeded a century, while in Tasmania, Australia, Martin Bryant, the perpetrator of the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, received 35 life sentences plus 1,035 years without parole, while Aurora Cinema shooter James Holmes received 12 consecutive life sentences plus 3,318 years without the possibility of parole for killing 12 and injuring 70 in a shooting spree and booby trapping his apartment with explosives. Sentence without parole effectively means a sentence can not be suspended; the prisoner may, however, effectively in any particular case released following a pardon, either on appeal, retrial or on humanitarian grounds, such as imminent death. In several countries where ‘’de facto’’ life terms are used this is commonplace, such as in the case of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Few countries allow for a minor to be given a lifetime sentence with no provision for eventual release; these include Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina (only over the age of 16),[5] Australia, Belize, Brunei, Cuba, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

According to a University of San Francisco Law School study, only the U.S. had minors serving such sentences in 2008.[6] In 2009, Human Rights Watch estimated that there were 2,589 youth offenders serving life sentences without the possibility for parole in the U.S.[7][8] The United States leads in life sentences (both adults and minors), at a rate of 50 people per 100,000 (1 out of 2,000) residents imprisoned for life.[9]

United States

In 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that sentencing minors to life without parole, automatically (as the result of a statute) or as the result of a judicial decision, for crimes other than intentional homicide, violated the Eighth Amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual punishments", in the case of Graham v. Florida.[10]

Graham v. Florida was a significant case in juvenile justice. In Jacksonville, Florida, Terrence J. Graham tried to rob a restaurant along with three adolescent accomplices. During the robbery, one of Graham's accomplices had a metal bar that he used to hit the restaurant manager twice in the head. Once arrested, Graham was charged with attempted armed robbery and armed burglary with assault/battery. The maximum sentence he faced from these charges was life without the possibility of parole, and the prosecutor wanted to charge him as an adult. During the trial, Graham pleaded guilty to the charges, resulting in three years of probation, one year of which had to be served in jail. Since he had been awaiting trial in jail, he already served six months and therefore was released after six additional months.[11]

Within six months of his release, Graham was involved in another robbery. Since he violated the conditions of his probation, his probation officer reported to the trial court about his probation violations a few weeks before Graham turned 18 years old. It was a different judge presiding over his trial for the probation violations a year later. While Graham denied any involvement of the robbery, he did admit to fleeing from the police. The trial court found that Graham violated his probation by "committing a home invasion robbery, possessing a firearm, and associating with persons engaged in criminal activity",[11] and sentenced him to 15 years for the attempted armed robbery plus life imprisonment for the armed burglary. The life sentence Graham received meant he had a life sentence without the possibility of parole, "because Florida abolished their parole system in 2003".[11]

Graham's case was presented to the United States Supreme Court, with the question of whether juveniles should receive life without the possibility of parole in non-homicide cases. The Justices eventually ruled that such a sentence violated the juvenile's 8th Amendment rights, protecting them from punishments that are disproportionate to the crime committed,[11] resulting in the abolition of life sentences without the possibility of parole in non-homicide cases for juveniles.

In 2012 the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Miller v. Alabama in a 5–4 decision and with the majority opinion written by Associate Justice Elena Kagan that mandatory sentences of life in prison without parole for juvenile offenders are unconstitutional. The majority opinion stated that barring a judge for considering mitigating factors and other information, such as age, maturity, and family and home environment violated the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Sentences of life in prison without parole can still be given to juveniles for aggravated first-degree murder, as long as the judge considers the circumstances of the case.[12][13]

World view

Reform or abolition

In a number of countries, life imprisonment has been effectively abolished. Many of the countries whose governments have abolished both life imprisonment and indefinite imprisonment have been culturally influenced or colonized by Spain or Portugal and have written such prohibitions into their current constitutional laws (including Portugal itself but not Spain).

A number of European countries have abolished all forms of indefinite imprisonment, including Serbia, Croatia and Spain, which set the maximum sentence at 40 years (for each conviction, which in practice keeps the possibility of de facto life imprisonment), Bosnia and Herzegovina, which sets the maximum sentence at 45 years, and Portugal, which abolished all forms of life imprisonment with the prison reforms of Sampaio e Melo in 1884 and sets the maximum sentence at 25 years.

Norway (de jure) and Spain (de facto from 1993 until February 2018, the question being now debated of reintroducing de jure life imprisonment, its habitual practice before it became a democracy in 1978-1983) have abolished life imprisonment but retain other forms of indefinite imprisonment.

In Europe, there are many countries where the law expressly provides for life sentences without the possibility of parole. These countries are England and Wales (within the United Kingdom), the Netherlands, Moldova, Bulgaria[15], Italy, Hungary, Austria, Malta, Albania, and the Republic of Ireland.

In Sweden, although the law does not expressly provide for life without the possibility of release, some convicted persons may never be released, on the grounds that they are too dangerous. In Italy, persons that refuse to cooperate with authorities and are sentenced for mafia activities or terrorism are ineligible for parole and thus will spend the rest of their lives in prison. In Austria, life imprisonment will mean imprisonment for the remainder of the offender's life if clemency is rejected by the President of Austria, and in Malta, there is never any possibility of parole for any person sentenced to life imprisonment, and any form of release from a life sentence is only possible by clemency granted by the President of Malta. In France, while the law does not expressly provide for life imprisonment without any possibility of parole, a court can rule in exceptionally serious circumstances that convicts are ineligible for parole if convicted of child murder involving rape or torture, premeditated murder of a state official or terrorism resulting in death. In Moldova, there is never a possibility of parole for anyone sentenced to life imprisonment, as life imprisonment is defined as “deprivation of liberty of the convict for the entire rest of his/her life”. Where mercy is granted in relation to a person serving life imprisonment, imprisonment thereof must not be less than 30 years. In Albania, no person sentenced to life imprisonment is eligible for parole; this effectively means imprisonment for the natural life of the convicted person, unless the prisoner is found not likely to re-offend and has displayed good behavior, and the convicted person has served at least 25 years. Also, in the Netherlands, there is never a possibility of parole for any person sentenced to life imprisonment, and any form of release for life convicted in the country is only possible when granted royal decree by the King of the Netherlands. In Europe, only the Netherlands, Moldova and Malta explicitly preclude parole or any form of release for life sentences in all cases. Even in other European countries that do provide for life without parole, courts continue to retain judicial discretion to decide whether a sentence of life should include parole or not. In Albania, the decision of whether or not a life convicted person is eligible for parole is up to the prison complex after 25 years has been served, and release eligibility depends on the prospect of rehabilitation and how likely it is he or she will re offend or not.

In South and Central America, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic have all abolished life imprisonment. The maximum sentence is 75 years in El Salvador, 60 years in Colombia, 50 years in Costa Rica and Panama, 40 years in Honduras, 25 years in Ecuador, 30 years in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and 25 years in Paraguay. Brazil has a maximum sentence of 30 years under statutory law, but life imprisonment and capital punishment are provided by law for crimes committed during wartime (for military crimes such as treason, desertion, and mutiny) and in the Constitution.

In the United States, a 2009 report by the Sentencing Project suggested that life imprisonment without parole should be abolished in the country. U.S. law enforcement officials opposed its proposed abolition.[16]

Pope Francis proposed the abolition of both capital punishment and life imprisonment in a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law. He also stated that life imprisonment, recently removed from the Vatican penal code, is just a variation of the death penalty.[17]

Overview by jurisdiction

Jurisdiction (link to details) Life imprisonment Minimum to serve before eligibility for requesting parole Maximum length of sentence (under life) Indefinite sentence (excl. preventive or psychiatric detainment) Mandatory sentence Other crimes with possible life sentence Under age of 18 (or 21) Pardon, amnesty, other release Death penalty
Australia Yes Federal: For terrorism & treason offences: 22.5 years[18]

NSW: Offenders may apply for a term/non-parole period after 8 years; 30 years if subject of a non-release recommendation served[19] Vic: 30 years, unless determined by the court not to be in the interest of justice[20] QLD: Multiple murders or repeat murder offences: 30 years. Murder of a serving police officer: 25 years. Other murders and repeat serious child sexual offences: 20 years. Otherwise: 15 years[21] WA: For murder committed by adult during aggravated home burglary: 15 years. In other murder cases: 10 years. Otherwise: 7 years[22] SA: Murder: 20 years[23] Tas: No mandatory minimum[24] ACT: 10 years[25] NT: Aggravated murder: 25 years. Murder: 20 years. Potentially less in exceptional circumstances[26]

None Yes[27][28][29] See also: Immigration detention in Australia Federal: Yes; for aircraft hijacking[30]

NSW: Yes; for the murder of a police officer [31] Vic: No QLD: Yes; for murder[32]and for repeat serious child sex offenders (Penalties and Sentences Act (QLD) section 161E) WA: No; abolished 2008[33] SA: Yes; for murder[34] Tas: No[35] ACT: No[36] NT: Yes; for murder[37]

Federal: See Life_imprisonment_in_Australia#Commonwealth[38]

State and territories: See Life_imprisonment_in_Australia#State_and_territories[39]

Federal, NSW, QLD, WA, SA, Tas, NT: Yes;

Vic, ACT: No[40][41][42]

Federal: By Governor General NSW, Vic, QLD, WA, SA, Tas, ACT, NT: by statute[43] No
Austria[44] Yes 15 years (Imprisonment for a definite period)
or never (Imprisonment for lifetime, when clemency is rejected by President)
None Yes Genocide Murder, high level drug dealing, Nazi activism, production or distribution of chemical warfare agents to be used in armed conflict; abduction, robbery, rape and statutory rape if the crime causes the victim's death, sea and air piracy and arson if the crime causes the death of a large number of people under 16: max. 10 years' imprisonment
16–17: max. 15 years' imprisonment
18–20: max. 20 years' imprisonment
By president No (Abolished in 1968.)
 Azerbaijan[45] Yes, but only for men aged 18–65 25 years 15 years for a single murder (up to 20 years for several crimes) No None Crimes against State, war crimes 14–17: max. 10 years' imprisonment[46] By President No
Belgium Yes 15 years (no previous conviction or below 3 years), 19 years (previous conviction below 5 years), or 23 years (previous conviction 5 years or more)[47] None No None Murder
  • under 12: cannot be prosecuted
  • 12–15: max. detained till the age of 20
  • 16–17: max. 30 years' imprisonment[48]
Parole by Conditional Release Commission or pardon by King No
 Brazil No [49] Varies, depending on sentence Between 12 and 30 years No No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No No life imprisonment sentence Yes, but only in times of war
 Bulgaria[50] Yes 20 years or never None Yes None Aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, treason, espionage, war crimes, genocide, desertion in wartime
  • under 14: cannot be prosecuted
  • 14-16: maximum 10 years
  • 16-18: maximum 12 years
By President No
Canada Yes 25 years minimum for first-degree murder or high treason; 10 years minimum for second-degree murder (consecutive sentencing may extend parole ineligibility beyond 25 years in multiple murder cases). 7-25 years for any other offence where the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. [51][52] None Yes High treason, first-degree murder, second-degree murder Various crimes including attempted murder, aircraft hijacking, armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, conspiracy to murder and most offenses resulting in death 14+: Yes, but only if juvenile is sentenced as adult[53] Yes, but only through royal prerogative of mercy[54][55] No (Abolished in 1976.)
People's Republic of China Yes 13 years of the original sentence having been actually served.[56] Never in extremely serious corruption cases.[57] 13 for a single murder if it's the perpetrator's first offence. Between 15-20 for a single murder that is the perpetrator's second offence if he/she serves the sentence with good behaviour No No Various Yes By courts and by President[58] Yes
Croatia No[59] Varies, depending on sentence 40 years[59] No No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No (Abolished in 1991.)
 Czech Republic[60] Yes
  • 20 years generally
  • 30 or more years if part of sentence[61]
30 years No None Some cases of murder, public endangerment, treason, terrorism, genocide, crimes against humanity, use of forbidden combat device or forbidden combat tactics, war crimes, persecution of population, misuse of international symbols 15–18: max. 10 years' imprisonment By President No
Denmark Yes 12 years[62] none[62] Yes No Treason, espionage during wartime, use of force against the parliament, terrorism, arson under circumstances that are life-threatening, hijacking of vehicles, willful release of nuclear substances, murder
  • under 15: no imprisonment
  • 15–17: 16 years under normal circumstances, 20 years if gang-related[62]
After 12 years entitled to request to Minister of Justice; granted by King or Queen of Denmark No
 Estonia Yes 30 years None Yes (de facto) None Some cases of murder, some cases of handling drugs, crimes against humanity, genocide, acts of war against civilians, terrorism, violence against the independence of Estonia, causing an explosion using nuclear energy[63] Maximum length 10 years Pardon by president[64] No
Finland[65] Yes 12 years for court release; any time for presidential pardon[66] None Yes Murder High treason, espionage, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, homicidal terrorist act, crime against peace
  • under 18: max. 15 years' imprisonment
  • under 21: minimum 10 years for parole request
By president, Helsinki Court of Appeal No
Germany Yes, adults between 18 and 21 only if tried as adults. *Before 1977: never (except with presidential pardon). Ruled unconstitutional by Federal Constitutional Court
  • Since 1977: at judge's discretion, most commonly the minimum of 15 years, but there is sometimes never a possibility of release in exceptionally serious cases [67]
15 years[68] No Aggravated murder,[69] genocide resulting in death,[70] crimes against humanity resulting in death,[71] war crimes against persons resulting in death[72] See details
  • Under 14: cannot be prosecuted
  • 14–18: maximum 10 years
  • 18–21: maximum of 15 years or life[73]
By Federal President or Minister-President No (Abolished in West Germany by the Constitution since 23 May 1949. Abolished by law in West Germany in 1953 and in East Germany in 1987.)
 Guinea-Bissau No Varies, depending on sentence ?? No No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No
 Republic of Ireland Yes 7 years[74] None No Murder, treason Manslaughter, rape, aggravated sexual assault, committing a sexual act on a child less than 15 years of age, assault causing serious harm, syringe attacks, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, certain drugs offences, and other common law offences where the maximum penalty is life imprisonment [75] age 10–11: rape or murder
age 12+: yes[76]
By President[77] No
 Lebanon Yes 10 years None No Aggravated murder, terrorism, treason Rape Yes By President Yes[78][79]
 Lithuania Yes 25 years None Yes None Genocide, prohibited mistreatment of persons under international law, war crimes, crimes against humanity, prohibited military attack, attempted assassination of the President of Lithuania, attempted assassination of a governmental official or foreign official, murder with aggravated circumstances, murder of persons protected under international humanitarian law, terrorism resulting in death, piracy (hijacking of a civilian aircraft or civilian vessel) that results in death or otherwise has grave consequences to the safety of others ?? By President No (Abolished in 1998.[80])
 Macau, China No Varies, depending on sentence 25 years (30 in exceptional circumstances)[81] No No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No
Mexico No (except in Chihuahua for murder involving kidnapping) Varies, depending on sentence 24 years (74 years if convicted of murder involving kidnapping); in the state of Chihuahua, murder involving kidnapping provides for a mandatory life sentence No[82] Murder involving kidnapping None ?? ??? No
 Netherlands Yes[83] Never (only pardon by royal decree from the King of the Netherlands). However, a periodic review of the sentence may be conducted after 25 years has been served in compliance with an official court ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, but otherwise there is virtually never a possibility of parole for those sentenced to life in prison in the Netherlands. None Yes None Murder, aggravated manslaughter, various crimes against the Dutch state, attacks on the monarch, crimes with a terrorist motive, and leading a terrorist organization in especially serious circumstances Under 12: No Criminal Responsibility

12-16: 1 year youth detention

16-18: 2 years youth detention

12-18: Youth TBS (7 years)

After 25 years, a committee reviews the sentence and give an advice to the minister and the king for early release No
 Nigeria Yes Never[84] None Yes ?? ??
  • under 7: no imprisonment
  • 7-18: no life imprisonment
?? Yes
Poland Yes 25 years 25 years No None Treason, assassination of Polish President, war of aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity, unlawful use of weapon of mass destruction, war crimes, murder, homicide and serious bodily harm resulting in death
  • under 15: no imprisonment
  • 15-17: max. 25 years' imprisonment
By president No
 Romania Yes 20 years None No; replaced by 25 years' imprisonment at age 60[85] Genocide during wartime, inhumane treatment during wartime Treason and other grave crimes against the state, extremely grave murder, capitulation, desertion on the battlefield, crimes against peace or humanity[86] under 18: max. 20 years' imprisonment[87] Pardon by President, amnesty by act of Parliament No
Slovakia Yes 25 years None Yes Murder, terrorism, treason Crimes against humanity, war crimes
  • under 14: no imprisonment
  • 14–17: max. 15 years' imprisonment[88]
By President No
 Slovenia Yes 25 years None Yes Murder Terrorism, drug offenses, crimes against humanity
  • under 16: no imprisonment
  • 16–17: max. 10 years of imprisonment in juvenile prison [89]
By President No
Sweden Yes 18 years or never, but parole hearing may be held after 10 years served, thus fixing a much later date for release on parole None Yes None Murder, kidnapping, arson, sabotage, dangerous destruction of property, hijacking, espionage, terror crimes, rebellion, endangering the public health by spread of contagion or poison, disloyalty when negotiating with foreign powers, trading in anti-personnel mines, cluster bombs or chemical or nuclear weapons, unlawful nuclear explosion, treason, genocide; in wartime only: mutiny, insubordination, undermining the will to fight, desertion, unauthorised capitulation, negligence of war preparations and negligence of battle duty; attempts, accessories, accomplices and incitements of all the above crimes might also be punished with life imprisonment.[90]
  • under 15: no imprisonment
  • 15-21: no life imprisonment
By the District Court of Örebro (parole hearing). Or by the Government (pardon).[91] No
Switzerland Yes 10 years or 15 years; individually set by judge None Yes None Aggravated murder,[92] aggravated hostage-taking,[93] genocide,[94] endangering the independence of the country[95]
  • under 15: no imprisonment
  • 15–17: max. 4 years' imprisonment[96]
By Federal Assembly (Parliament)[97] No
United Kingdom: England and Wales Yes 15 years or longer (maximum of whole life order), but individually set by judge. A whole life order means life without parole (e.g. natural life in prison until death) None Imprisonment for public protection — abolished in 2012 but offenders already serving that sentence remained in prison Murder and treason Rape, armed robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, manslaughter, attempted murder, soliciting murder, threats to kill, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, malicious wounding, using chloroform etc., maliciously administering poison, abandoning children, other serious crimes and other common law offences where the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. [98] Yes. Whole life orders cannot be given to offenders under 21. amnesty by royal decree (by means of the royal prerogative of mercy) alone or with Act of Parliament No
United Kingdom:
Yes Individually set by judge Between 17 and 30 years for a single murder without any additional circumstances Yes Murder with additional circumstances, two or more murders, attempted murder, two or more counts rape Any other Common Law offence.[99][100] Under 8 : Presumed not capable of committing a criminal offence.

Under 18 : Detention for an indeterminate period.[101]

Compassionate release by Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Scottish Government); amnesty by royal decree (by means of the royal prerogative of mercy) alone or with Act of Parliament. No
United Kingdom:
Northern Ireland
Yes Individually set by judge None No[102][103] Murder, rape Robbery ?? General release through a referendum-based agreement in 1998 (became applicable in 3 cases: i, ii, iii). The royal prerogative of mercy or an Act of Parliament (in accordance with the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty) can be used to grant amnesty like the rest of the UK. No
United States Yes (except in Alaska) Any minimum term from 5 to 15 years, or never (depending on crime and state) Varies by state; 99 years in Alaska Yes Varies by state Varies by state Yes (de jure) By president or governor of a state (depending on jurisdiction) Yes (depending on state)
 Uruguay No Varies, depending on sentence 12 years No No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No life imprisonment sentence No

See also


  1. "Quebec mosque shooting: Gunman sentenced to life in prison". 8 February 2019.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Penalties for Drunk Driving Vehicular Homicide" (PDF) (PDF). Mothers Against Drunk Driving. May 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2013.
  4. CNN, By Eliott C. McLaughlin and Pamela Brown. "Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro sentenced to life, plus 1,000 years -". CNN. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  5. Mecon. "InfoLEG - Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas Públicas - Argentina". Archived from the original on 9 January 2016.
  6. "Laws of Other Nations". Archived from the original on 27 June 2015.
  7. "The Rest of Their Lives: Life without Parole for Child Offenders in the United States Archived 27 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine", 2008.
  8. "State Distribution of Youth Offenders Serving Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)". Human Rights Watch. 2 October 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  9. "The Sentencing Project News - New Publication: Life Goes On: The Historic Rise in Life Sentences in America". Archived from the original on 18 October 2013.
  10. David G. Savage (17 May 2010). "Supreme Court Restricts Life Sentences Without Parole for Juveniles". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  11. Drinan, C. H. (2012, March). "Graham on the Ground". Washington Law Review, 87(1), 51–91. Criminal Justice Abstracts. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  12. "Court bars mandatory life without parole for youths, rejects cross case". Catholic News Service. 25 June 2012. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  13. Liptak, Adam; Bronner, Ethan (25 June 2012). "Court Bars Mandatory Life Terms for Juveniles in Murders". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 27 May 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  14. "Life imprisonment". life-imprisonment.html.
  15. "Bulgaria - Criminal codes - Legislationline". Archived from the original on 7 October 2017.
  16. Kevin Johnson (22 July 2009). "Report wants life without parole abolished". USA Today. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012.
  17. Francis X. Rocca (23 October 2014). "Pope Francis calls for abolishing death penalty and life imprisonment". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  18. Crimes Act (Cth) section 19AG 3(a)
  19. Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act (NSW) Schedule 1 section 2
  20. Sentencing Act (Vic) section 11A(4)(a)
  21. Corrective Services Act (QLD) section 181 & 181A
  22. Sentencing Act (WA) section 90 & 96
  23. Sentencing Act (SA) section 47(5)(b)
  24. Sentencing Act (Tas) section 18
  25. Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act (ACT) section 288
  26. Sentencing Act NT section 53A
  27. Indefinite detention of persons with disability within the criminal justice system
  28. A Comparative Review of National Legislation for the Indefinite Detention of ‘Dangerous Criminals’, Tasmania Law Reform Institute
  29. Indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment in Australia, Senate Community Affairs References Committee
  30. Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991 section 13(3)
  31. Crimes Amendment (Murder of Police Officers) Act (NSW)
  32. Criminal Code 1899 (QLD) Section 305
  33. Project 97 - A review of the law of homicide, Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
  34. Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) section 11
  35. Sentencing Act (Tas) section 18
  36. Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act (ACT) section 32(1)
  37. Criminal Code Act 1983 (NT) section 157
  38. Offences including Piracy; murder of a UN or associated person; explosives and lethal device offences; treason; assisting anyone known to have committed treason escape apprehension or punishment; knowing someone intends to commit a treason offence and not reporting it to the police or taking reasonable measure to prevent its commission; assisting enemy to engage in armed conflict; treachery; espionage; aggravated espionage offences; terrorism; planning or preparing for a terrorist act; financing terrorism; financing a terrorist; murder of an Australian citizen or resident; entering a foreign country with the intention of engaging in a hostile activity; engaging in a hostile activity in a foreign country, or engaging in conduct preparatory to, including providing or participating in training, accumulating weapons or giving or receiving goods and services to commit a foreign incursion offence; allowing the use of a building, aircraft or vessel intending to commit, support or promote a foreign incursion offence; burglary of a property owned by a Commonwealth entity with the intent to commit an offence that causes harm to a person or damage to property; genocide offences; crimes against humanity (murder and extermination); war crimes; trafficking or manufacturing a commercial quantity of controlled drugs; cultivating or selling commercial quantities of controlled plants; importing or exporting commercial quantities of controlled drugs or plants; importing commercial quantities of a controlled drug or plant; possessing commercial quantities of a controlled drug or plant reasonably believed to have been imported; supplying marketable quantities of controlled drugs to children for trafficking; procuring children for trafficking marketable quantities of controlled drugs; procuring children for pre-trafficking marketable quantities of controlled precursors; procuring children for importing or exporting marketable quantities of a controlled drug or plant or for importing or exporting marketable quantities of border controlled precursors (Criminal Code Act (Cth))
  39. NSW: Murder; aggravated sexual assault in company; sexual intercourse with a child under 10; persistent sexual abuse of a child (Crimes Act (NSW)). Drug offences involving commercial quantities or cultivation for a commercial purpose; offences involving manufacture or production in presence of children or procuring children to supply prohibited drugs (Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act (NSW)). Vic: Murder; trafficking in a drug of dependence (large commercial quantity) QLD: Demands with menaces upon agencies of government; riot, if the offender causes grievous bodily harm to a person, causes an explosive substance to explode or destroys or starts to destroy a building, vehicle or machinery; piracy; perjury, in order to procure the conviction of another person for a crime punishable with life imprisonment; conspiracy to bring a false accusation where the offence is such that the person convicted would be liable to life imprisonment; owner etc permitting carnal knowledge of a child under 12 on premises; carnal knowledge of a child under 12, or a child under 16 by a guardian of that non-lineal descendant child; or a child under 16 with an impairment of the mind; carnal knowledge or attempted carnal knowledge of a non-lineal descendant with an impairment of the mind by a guardian; taking a child under 12 for immoral purpose and doing carnal knowledge; incest; maintaining a sexual relationship by an adult with a child under 16; attempted murder; accessory after the fact to murder; manslaughter; aiding suicide; killing unborn child; unlawful striking causing death; disabling or stupefying in order to commit an indictable offence; acts intended to cause grevious bodily harm and other malicious acts; obstructing rescue or escape from unsafe premises; endangering the safety of a person in a vehicle with intent; rape; aggravated sexual assault; aggravated robbery; aggravated attempted robbery; extortion where carrying out threat causes or would be likely to cause serious personal injury or substantial economic loss in a commercial activity; taking control of an aircraft using violence, threats of violence, in company or by fraudulent means; burglary by breaking and other circumstances of aggravation; breaking and committing an indictable offence; arson; endangering the safe use of vehicles and transport infrastructure; destroying or damaging premises by explosion; destroying sea walls and other property; communicating infectious diseases to animals; attempting to commit an indictable offence punishable by mandatory life imprisonment; being an accessory to the fact after an indictable offence punishable by mandatory life imprisonment (Criminal Code (QLD)) WA: Attempt to unlawfully kill; criminal damage by fire (Criminal Code (WA)). Possessing, with intent to sell or supply, a trafficable quantity (>28g) of methylamphetamine; conspiring with another to, or attempting to, commit a methylamphetamine trafficking offence (Misuse of Drugs Act (WA)) SA: Manslaughter; aggravated causing death or causing serious harm by use of a vehicle or vessel; rape; unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under 14; property damage of building or motor vehicle by fire (arson) or explosives; aggravated robbery; aggravated serious criminal trespass of residential buildings; manufacture of a commercial quantity of a controlled drug for sale; sell, supply, or administer a controlled drug to a child or possession of a controlled drug intending to sell, supply or administer to a child; sell, supply, or administer a controlled drug to a person in a school zone, or possession of a controlled drug in a school zone intending to sell, supply or administer the drug to another person; trafficking a commercial quantity of a controlled drug; cultivating a commercial quantity of a controlled plant for sale (includes cannabis); sale of a commercial quantity of a controlled plant or possession with intention to sell (includes cannabis - prescribed amount - 100 plants; but in aggravated circumstances, 20 plants) Tas: Murder; treason; accessory after the fact guilty of treason ACT: Murder; trafficking in a controlled drug; manufacturing a controlled drug for selling; cultivating a controlled plant for selling; selling a controlled plant; supplying controlled drug to child for selling; procuring a child to traffic a controlled drug NT: Manslaughter; assisting or encouraging a suicide; killing an unborn child; disabling or stupefying in order to commit an indictable offence; acts intended to cause serious harm or prevent lawful apprehension; preventing escape from wreck; intentionally endangering safety of persons travelling by railway, roadway, aircraft or ship; sexual intercourse without consent; causing a child under 12 to enter into or continue in sexual servitude; operating a business that involves the sexual servitude of a child under 12; aggravated robbery (armed, in company or causing harm to any person immediately before or after or during the robbery); discharging a firearm while armed in the course of assault with intent to steal; unlawfully taking control of an aircraft with violence or threats, in company or while armed; sabotage; arson; endangering operation of an aircraft; conspiracy to lay false charges where the person found guilty would have been liable to life imprisonment; terrorism; perjury in order to procure the conviction of an offence punishable by life imprisonment; forcibly rescuing certain offenders; aggravated sexual relationship with a child (Criminal Code Act (NT)). Supply of a commercial quantity of a dangerous drug (Schedule 1 or 2) to a child; supply of a dangerous drug (Schedule 1) to a child; cultivation of a commercial quantity of a prohibited plant in the presence of a child; manufacture of a commercial quantity of a Schedule 1 dangerous drug; manufacture of a commercial or trafficable quantity of a Schedule 1 drug in the presence of a child; procuring a child under 14 to commit an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act (Misuse of Drugs Act (NT))
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  41. ‘Young persons’ may not be sentenced to indefinite sentences
  42. Sentencing Act 1991 (Victoria) Section 18A(1)
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