longest prison sentence

Longest Prison Sentences In US Legal History

3 Mins Read June, 06 2023 Posted by Nilanjana Basu

Prisoners are sentenced to jail as per the crimes or offenses they have committed. However, it has been observed that certain offenders have been granted legal sentences that exceed the usual time period that is provided to offenders. 

This article will provide you with the longest prison sentences that have occurred in US legal history. 

The Top Five Longest Prison Sentences in US History 

Charles Scott Robinson: 30,000 Years

Charles has been a child rapist who holds the record holding the longest prison sentence in US legal history. 

He has been a single person who has been noted to have been given a long jail term for various counts of offenses. 

Charles Scott Robinson was sentenced to 30,000 years in prison on 23 December, 1994. 

The years of sentence was calculated as 5,000 years for each six counts that have been against him. 

Allan Wayne Mclaurin : 21,250 Years

McLaurin was an associate of Darron Bennalford Anderson, who was known to achieve the longest amount of jail time given through an appeal. 

Anderson, a local from Oklahoma was determined to be guilty in the crimes of 1994. 

The crimes ranged from rape of older women, larceny, robbery, kidnapping. Anderson was originally sentenced to a jail term of 2,200 years. 

His appeal for reduction of jail term led to winning the trial. Later he was again convicted for the same charges. 

Anderson’s second conviction resulted in the jury sentencing him to 11,250 years in prison. This means, adding 6,300 years to his sentence. 

He has also been observed to have appealed again in the year 1997 and got the parole date for the year 12,744. 

Further, McLaurin’s original prison sentence was termed 21,250 years. An appeal reduced the sentence by 500 years. 

Dudley Wayne Kyzer: 10,000 Years

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Dudley Wayne Kyzer has been a prisoner from the state of Alabama being sentenced to 10,000 years. 

Dudley was sentenced to 10,000 years in prison for the killing of his wife in 1981. He was also charged for killing his mother-in-law and college student who stayed in the house in 1976’s Halloween. 

 Dudley was given life sentences for each of the murders that was conducted by him along with his 10,000 years prison sentence. 

The judge who was responsible for hearing his sentence justified the sentence for the purpose of the brutality of the murders committed by Dudley. 

Kyzer has also been observed to have been denied parole for nine times. 

James Eagan Holmes: 12 Life Sentences And 3,318 Years Without Parole

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Holmes was convicted for the purpose of killing 12 individuals and injuring 70 people within a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in the year 2012. 

He was sentenced for life for 12 terms on the accounts of each murder that was conducted by him. 

Additionally, Holmes has been observed to get a prison sentence of 3,318 more years for his several counts of attempted murder. 

He was also sentenced to a long prison sentence for the purpose of having possession of illegal explosive devices and one sentence associated with enhancement of crime related to violence. 

Bobbie Joe Long: 28 Life Sentences, 99 Years, And 1 Death Sentence

Long  is a criminal from the state of Florida, United States widely known for 28 life sentences. 

He has also been noted to have additional 99 years of imprisonment and death sentence for the rape of over 50 women and murder of more than 25 people. 

He committed rape of women by answering classified advertisements for repair of small appliances. 

If he found women to be alone at their home, he would have committed his crime. 


Sending individuals to prison for more than their life expectancy does seem strange for us. 

We might often think that sending a prisoner for a life sentence that exceeds their life expectancy might oppose the system of punishment for heinous crimes. 

But, it has been observed that long life sentences tend to be of thousands of years due to the decisions based on the juries. 

This means, combination of mandatory sentencing laws and discretion of the judges based on the nature of the crime leads to final sentencing of the prisoner accused of crimes.

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Nilanjana Basu

Nilanjana is a lawyer with a flair for writing. She has a certification in American Laws from Penn Law (Pennsylvania University). Along with this, she has been known to write legal articles that allow the audience to know about American laws and regulations at ease.

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