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Full-Text Articles in Law

Virtual Life Sentences: An Exploratory Study, Jessica S. Henry, Christopher Salvatore, Bai-Eyse Pugh Oct 2019

Virtual Life Sentences: An Exploratory Study, Jessica S. Henry, Christopher Salvatore, Bai-Eyse Pugh

Christopher Salvatore

Virtual life sentences are sentences with a term of years that exceed an individual’s natural life expectancy. This exploratory study is one of the first to collect data that establish the existence, prevalence, and scope of virtual life sentences in state prisons in the United States. Initial data reveal that more than 31,000 people in 26 states are serving virtual life sentences for violent and nonviolent offenses, and suggest racial disparities in the distribution of these sentences. This study also presents potential policy implications and suggestions for future research.


The Long Wait For An Improbable Death: A Look At Delays In Executions In Kansas And Possible Reforms To Capital Punishment, Amy M. Memmer, Melanie K. Worsley, Brenda I. Rowe Jan 2019

The Long Wait For An Improbable Death: A Look At Delays In Executions In Kansas And Possible Reforms To Capital Punishment, Amy M. Memmer, Melanie K. Worsley, Brenda I. Rowe

Criminology and Criminal Justice Faculty Publications

This article uses Kansas as a case study to show how in Kansas, as in many other states in the United States, the execution of a death sentence is so improbable, and the delays that precede it so extraordinary, that any arguable deterrent or retributive effect capital punishment might once have had has been severely diminished. This article considers possible reforms to the capital punishment system aimed at reducing the delay between sentencing and execution, and the risks that would accompany those reforms. This article also considers whether capital punishment should still be considered a viable option for states in …