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Recent Trends and Implications of Absolute Life Imprisonment as an Alternative to the Abolition of the Death Penalty in the United States - Focusing on Judgment in the Supreme Court -

  • Legal Theory & Practice Review
  • Abbr : LTPR
  • 2022, 10(3), pp.281-312
  • Publisher : The Korea Society for Legal Theory and Practice Inc.
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law
  • Received : August 4, 2022
  • Accepted : August 23, 2022
  • Published : August 31, 2022

Yoo Jung Hwa 1 Lee Hyeong Seok 1

1원광대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Life imprisonment is similar to expulsion in history, and it is a punishment that reproduces the cruelty of expulsion in modern society. Inmates sentenced to life imprisonment are deprived of their basic human rights and all rights as human beings because they are expelled and isolated from society. The significance of the absolute life sentence is first, from the point of view of retribution. It means the lifelong imprisonment of the offender in a correctional facility as a responsibility for the criminal act. Second, it is a practical point of view. It means that criminals do not have the will to reform or improve their behavior and need to be permanently isolated from society. Life imprisonment is a sentence to end life in prison. Life imprisonment not only undermines the dignity of the prisoner and completely excludes the opportunity to escape from the restraints of the state, but also means depriving them of hope for a return to society. Among life sentences, absolute life imprisonment without parole has no possibility of reexamination of the decision. It is cruel and inhuman to judge that criminals are absolutely impossible to return to society. The reason is that depriving criminals of opportunities for reform and improvement and making the future unpredictable is a violation of criminal human rights. Even in Korea, discussion about life imprisonment as an alternative to the death penalty is emerging. In this paper, based on the recent US Supreme Court decision, I would like to discuss whether life imprisonment can replace the death penalty.

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