Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the penological landscape of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole (or life without parole, LWOP) in the twenty-first century. It begins with an overview of the meaning and extent of LWOP sentences across contemporary penal systems worldwide, focusing on the significant increase of LWOP sentences in the United States. It then considers some of the key arguments that have been put forward to justify lifelong imprisonment and goes on to review international law and treaty provisions that have placed important restrictions on the use of LWOP around the world. It also examines the extent to which LWOP sentences are compatible with international human rights standards on the treatment of prisoners. The article argues that the imposition and implementation of whole-life sentences violate fundamental human rights. It concludes by outlining potentially important areas for future research.

Keywords: life without parole, LWOP, penal systems, United States, international law, human rights, prisoners, whole-life sentences

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.