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  • Ranges in sentencing

    I'm embarrassed to admit to this, but there is something that I don't remember from my criminal justice studies. It concerns ranges of sentences.

    Today I read a story about a criminal who was given a sentence of "25 years to life". Fixed sentences are self-explanatory. But when they are given a range, I just don't understand that.
    Does he serve 25 years?
    Does he serve life?
    Is his term within that range based on his behavior in prison?
    Or does the lower number indicate the earliest he is eligible for parole?

    Thanks for those who reply.
    Living it one day at a time.

  • #2
    eligible for parole in 25, i believe
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    • #3
      Originally posted by BAinCJ View Post
      I'm embarrassed to admit to this, but there is something that I don't remember from my criminal justice studies. It concerns ranges of sentences.

      Today I read a story about a criminal who was given a sentence of "25 years to life". Fixed sentences are self-explanatory. But when they are given a range, I just don't understand that.

      Answer in general are listed in red your mileage may vary depending on the state you are refering to.

      Does he serve 25 years? At least
      Does he serve life? Maybe
      Is his term within that range based on his behavior in prison? The true answer to the question----usually after the minimum, the parole board will decide if or when he/she can be released on parole. That parole might be for a term of years or for the remainder of his/her sentence----in this case life
      Or does the lower number indicate the earliest he is eligible for parole? Yep

      Thanks for those who reply.
      It also might be interesting for you to know that even "fixed" sentences are not necessarily FIXED.

      In Iowa a 25 yr sentence( for example) is actually 12 yrs 4 months in length based on the prisoner's good behavior. Any misbehavior will add time to that 12yrs 4 months (in increaments of 2-16 days) up to a maximum of the original 25 yrs.
      THe above example is based on end of sentence without parole factored in . The parole board can in most cases release a prisoner at any time they feel the offender has achieved maximum "correction"-------they then place the offender on parole for a fixed time----then release them end of sentence.

      There are a few sentences that have manditory minimums.......but even some of those minimums can be cut in half---------it takes a computer to follow the "good time" laws
      Last edited by Iowa #1603; 10-08-2009, 01:56 AM.
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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