Life Sentences for Nonviolent Crimes are Wrong

Post Date: November 18, 2013

bilde(Des Moines Register Editorial) — Americans tend to want to lock up lawbreakers and forget about them. The people who make the laws don’t want to appear to voters as “soft of crime.” Thus, the number of people in U.S. prisons keeps rising; we keep spending more on our prisons.

The American Civil Liberties Union recently issued a study that found at least 3,278 inmates in federal and state prisons in the United States are serving life sentences without parole for nonviolent offenses.

These individuals didn’t kill anyone; they didn’t kidnap anyone. The vast majority were convicted of nonviolent, drug-related crimes. About 20 percent committed property crimes, such as theft. Read more