I was reading in the paper earlier about a man sentenced to two life sentences which made me think of all of the other similar rulings like this.
What’s the point of multiple-life sentencing? When would one life sentence end and the other begin?
If a prisoner clinically dies in jail and is revived at a hospital, is that the end of a life sentence?
If there is a possibility of parole then a life sentence could be reduced to 10 years. So multiple life sentences are applied to make sure the guilty serves at least some time before exiting the revolving door of justice.
No. I believe that sentences are worded “for the term of your natural life.” Which means, of course, that if the prisoner was revived, his “natural life” would be resumed, and he’d still be imprisoned.
I’m sure there are more reasons but one is that when the defendant is charged with multiple offenses. A person convicted of multiple crimes is subject to as many punishments. If you ran a red light, while fleeing the police. You would probably be charged with (at least) evasion, speeding, failure to stop, add to that probably endangerment, etc. If found guilty you would get a fine for each offense and probably some time as well.
If during a robbery the thief kills a couple of people. He’d be charged with BOTH murders and if found guilty would receive a sentence for each.
In Texas, the guy’s looking at the death sentence, maybe life in prison (two sentences)…but what if they didn’t die? He would be subject to two attempted murder charges, each of which he would receive sentence for 25 years each (YMMV) Point being, a few charges stacked can serve as a life sentence.
Especially IIRC, the first sentence has to be served in full before the second can be considered for parole IF they are even eligible at all. Lots of death row inmates walked out of death sentences back when the USSC said death penalty was unconstitutional. All those went to life sentences instead and since their original sentence didn’t include parole opportunities many were paroled before the USSC changed its mind again and made death legal again. But it was too late by then and the ones who hadn’t been paroled kept their “new” sentences.
Maybe that was a little off subject but I think multiple sentencing is a “guarantee” that criminals WE can’t kill can at least be locked up forever without the kind of screwup that the USSC seems to be so capable of.
BTW it’s also the State’s way of assuring a conviction. Charge the defendant with several offenses and hope you get at least one of them to stick.
And, of course, someone may appeal one crime and be found innocent of that crime, but still remain in jail because of other crimes.
I once heard a quote from one judge who was noted for handing down rather severe sentences. She had just sentenced a man to 400 years of jail time with no chance of parole. She was asked if 400 years was rather silly since no one lived that long, and her response was that it sent a clear message to the prison authorities, guards, and everyone else involved that this man had done something very bad.
Reminds me of that Mexican song:
The day they killed her was Lupita’s lucky day,
of six shots she received, only one was deadly.
If you commit two crimes you are sentenced to two penalties. The fact that you cannot fulfil the conditions of both sentences is irrelevant. The fact that you only have x dollars does not mean your punishment gets reduced to X dollars. The punishment is a consequence of the crime, not of your ability to pay. As has been said, one sentence may be reduced or whatever but the others are still in force.