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What does three life sentences mean?
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What does three life sentences mean?

just wondering.


Some well meaning and some truly less than insightful answers above me here. I will try to give a better idea of what happens during a trial.

A person is tried for each crime committed. Take Jeffrey Dahmer as an example. He killed, cut up, cooked and ate children. He was tried for multiple murders and was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences. That was one life sentence for each of the murders he was found guilty of.

Although this may seem redundant, any person who gets a life sentence is going to spend many years sitting in the legal library searching for loopholes and filing motions by the dozens. He can legally get a charge reduced or overturned in an appeals case.

Suppose that various points of law were violated during 6 of the charges in that particular trial. He ( in theory) would have 6 life sentences overturned and be found innocent. Using our judicial system, he is still serving 9 life sentences. He would literally have to fight each and every charge in appeals court if he ever expects to be released.

Ronnie Shelton ( The Cleveland West Side Rapist) was charged with over 50 counts of rape. He was convicted on 38 counts. If his charges were added up per charge, he would have had 3,034 years ( over 3 thousand years). As it was, he was given a provisional sentence of 356 years with a mandatory minimum of 156 years. He will not see a parole board for a first hearing before serving 156 years. Technically not a life sentence, but I seriously doubt he will live out his sentence.

Sentences are stacked due to the letter of the law. When multiple charges are tried together, the sentences are stacked one on another instead of a single sentence just in case the person can find a legal loophole on a single point of law.

I hope this helps somewhat better than some of the above answers.

Self-explanatory, isn't it?

It means that they will lock you up in a room, and then throw away the room.

You Know
Depends on if it is consecutive or concurrent. If consecutive your only hope of being on the outside of a prison is escape or pardon, because if you actually make parole for one then the other begins. Though probably not likely if concurrent you are serving them at the same time, but will still need to be paroled for all three to ever see the light of day again. So to sum up my answer if your serving three life consecutive sentences you better hope you know a good lawyer or politician.

At least three different capital convictions.

It depends on the state but a life sentence doesn't mean you will serve life in prison.

John S
Legally, an inmate may have a sentence commuted or reduced for good behavior / community service or reciprocity made to victims families. For example, In the event that 3 different murders are committed, the perpetrator begins serving one life sentence. If the parole board finds that good behavior and compensation was made to a family the sentence could be reduced or eliminated through commutation of the parole board findings. Then the inmate must begin serving the next life sentence of the 3.

Rod J
It means if you reincarnate they're still going to get you at least twice.


Ron C
When a crime that has been committed is so severe that the judicial punishment extends beyond just one life sentence. Ergo, it's like saying "You're going to jail until you rot and then some" or something.

It means they're going to resurrect your a$$ twice to make you go through it all again and again.

Live Free or Die
There's an amount of years that is determined to equal a life sentence and I forget how it works,but say it's 50 years. You would times that by 3 so it would be 150 year sentence.

3 life sentences means you will die in prison .

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