(Published on Huffington Post)
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest prison term ever handed down was to a woman in Thailand who reportedly defrauded more than 16,000 Thai people to the tune of $204 million in a corporate pyramid scheme. Her sentence: 141,078 years. At almost 2,100 life sentences, it's unlikely that she'll need to worry about a parole plan.
Certainly this is an absurd sentence that would never happen in the United States, right? There's no need for it, this countries sentencing practices are already absurd in their own way. We've all heard of several life sentences to ensure that someone never get's released, but thousands of years? Let's see:
Top 10 Longest Prison Sentence in the U.S.
1) 30,000 years
Charles Robinson, convicted in 1994 in Oklahoma, received 5,000 years for each of the six counts of child rape against him. He'll get out in 31994.
2) 20,750 years
Allan McLaurin and his co-defendant were convicted in Oklahoma in 1994 on a variety of charges including rape of an elderly woman and robbery. His co-defendant originally received 21,250 years, but had his sentence reduced to 500 years on appeal. Much better.(?)
3) 10,000 years
Dudley Kyzer was sentenced in Alabama for the murders of his estranged wife, mother-in-law, and a college student on Halloween in 1976. He is currently, however, eligible for parole.
4) 3,318 years, PLUS 12 life sentences
James Holmes, recently convicted in the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre, where 12 people lost their lives at his hands (hence, the 12 life sentences), with additional time for numerous charges of attempted murder and weapon's offenses.
5) 1,050 years (35 consecutive life sentences)
Billy Godfrey, 52, was convicted in 2015 on 35 counts of sexually abusing a number of children between 1995 and 1999.
6) 1,000 years, PLUS a life sentence
Ariel Castro, the Cleveland, Ohio school bus driver who kidnapped three women and trapped them in his basement for years, was convicted in 2013 to 937 charges against him, including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder. He was found dead in his cell that same year.
7) 845 years
Sholam Weiss was found guilty for his part in the bankruptcy of the National Heritage Life Insurance Corporation of New York, which robbed investors of millions. Appeals for a lesser sentence failed.
8) 840 years (28 life sentences), PLUS 99 years more, PLUS a death sentence
Bobbie Long was convicted in Florida in 1984 for the killing of 25 women and the raping of more than twice that number. Often remarked as a possible mitigating factor was a dysfunctional relationship with his mother, and the fact that he had an extra X chromosome, making him intersex.
9) 825 years
David Hall, of Port Orange, Florida, was convicted in 2015 for trading child pornography through an online blog. He was already a registered sex offender for an attempted assault on a 7 year old in 1996.
10) 755 years
Darrel Delp was found guilty in 2014 on 50 counts of producing child pornography and 10 counts of aggravated sexual battery.
A couple more...
11) 750 years (25 life sentences)
Juan Corona, a notorious Mexican American serial killer, murdered 25 of his farm workers between 1970 and 1971, hence the 25 life sentences.
12) 630 years (21 consecutive life sentences)
Chester Stiles, a former Siegfried & Roy animal trainer, was sentenced in 2009 for a variety of offenses against children, which included the videotaping of his lewd acts with them. He will be eligible for parole after 140 years, in 2149.
22) 150 years
Bernie Madoff was convicted in 2009 for a Ponzi scheme that reportedly bilked $65 billion from thousands of investors. The 150 year sentence was three times longer than the federal probation office suggested at the time.
While America may not have a 141,000 year sentence, there are only 4 sentences in the world that are longer than ones meted out in the U.S. (three of which were for the same crime, the 2004 Madrid train bombings.) The U.S. continues to prove that it is tough on crime... to an extreme.