Heading into a period of election-related banter, prison reform and justice issues are becoming popular as campaign promises these days above and below the Canada/United States border. In Canada, basically every party except for the Conservatives have said that marijuana will no longer be a criminal issue, but down in the U.S. given that party leaders have yet to be chosen, members of both parties are taking various stances.
Some are arguing for full legalization, others for decriminalization of small amounts, while quite a few are arguing to keep the status quo. Of course, it's a state issue, but plenty of Presidential candidates have suggested using federal power to disregard those states that decide to decriminalize the drug. Many of the same want to continue to lock up giggling potheads for decades over a plant that makes people laugh at stupid movies and eat obscene amounts of potato chips. What a time to be alive!
On the topic of drugs and prison sentences, one popular topic is mandatory minimum sentencing. It is the idea that certain crimes require a certain prison sentence at the very least, regardless of other considerations. It has been applied to drug crimes for a long time and is growing increasingly unpopular due to the fact that non-violent "offenders" could be thrown away for victimless crimes to rot in prison, an experience that hardens many people and costs an obscene amount of money. Twenty-five years for pot is nothing compared to some of these, however. Here is our list of the fifteen longest prison sentences ever issued.
Honorable Mention: Gabriel March Grandos: 384,912 Years (requested sentence)
Grandos was a mailman in Spain back in the 1980's. He was charged with not delivering thousands of letters, and the prosecution sought a period of time behind bars for every single one of them. It totaled over 300,000 years. The judge deemed that fourteen years would be enough.
15 Darrell Wayne Delp: 755 Years
14 David Hall: 825 Years
Floridian David Hall, is our number fourteen. In 2014 he was arrested under suspicion of having posted sexual pictures online of young children. He was charged and convicted of ten counts of promoting such filth and 45 of possession.
13 Sholam Weiss: 845 Years
Enough of the kid crime offenders for a bit, Sholam Weiss was a businessman who committed one of the most notorious acts of insurance fraud in history.
12 Ariel Castro: Life in Prison (Plus 1,000 Years)
11 Juan Corona: 25 Life Sentences
10 Bobbie Joe Long: 28 Life Sentences Plus Four 99 Year Sentences and a Death Sentence
Bobbie Joe Long is a serial killer, sexual assaulter and kidnapper from Florida who is currently on death row. Back in 1984 he tortured and murdered over ten women in Tampa. He would go out at night, searching for solitary women, particularly strippers or prostitutes, and after persuading them to come back to his apartment, would overpower them, and sadly, we all know how the rest would go.
9 Martin Bryant: 35 Life Sentences and Over 1,000 Years
The Port Arthur Massacre is the largest mass murder in Australia's history. It served as a catalyst for firearm restrictions in the country. Bryant is now known to be terribly unintelligent overall. He suffers from significant learning disability and has an IQ in the mid-60's range. Doctors have said that his lack of reasoning ability was a contributing factor to the massacre he carried out in 1996.
8 James Eagan Holmes: 12 Life Sentences Plus 3,318 Years
The most recent entry on our list is James Eagan Holmes, the Colorado theater shooter. Back in July 2012, he entered an Aurora, Colorado movie theater and gunned down twelve people, injuring 70 more.
7 Two Iranian Conmen: 7,109 Years
6 Dudley Wayne Kyzer: 10,000 Years
Kyzer is an Alabama man who killed his ex-wife, mother in law and a male student back in 1976. Due to the fact that the murder took place on Halloween, he is known as the 'Halloween Killer'. He shot his ex-wife Emily, in the chest, Eunice, the mother-in-law, in the head while she tried to call the cops, and the student Richard Pyron, was shot in the head while begging for his life.
5 Darron Bennalford Anderson: 11,250 Years
4 Allan Wayne McLaurin: 21,250 Years
3 Charles Scott Robinson: 30,000 Years
2 2004 Madrid Bombers: (Three Men) Between 34,715 and 42,924 Years
Back in 2004, 191 people were killed and nearly 2,000 people were seriously injured when a small terrorist group inspired by Al-Qaeda detonated explosive devices in Madrid's train system. Jamal Zougam, a Moroccan living in Spain, was implicated with having sold the cell phones that detonated the bombs, as well as having a part in building them. Emilio Trashorras was sentenced to 34,715 years for supplying the dynamite, and Otman El Ghanoui was convicted and sentenced in connection with the bombing as well.
1 Chamoy Thipyaso: 141,078 Years
Chamoy Thipyaso is essentially Thailand's equivalent to Bernie Madoff. While Madoff got 150 years for his pyramid scheme, she received a sentence of 141,078 years in prison. She tricked over 16,000 Thais in a scheme that was worth over $200 million at one point.
She was discovered and tried back in 1989. The wife of a high ranking officer in the Thai Air Force, she set up her investment firm years prior to being caught along with seven of her accomplices.
Sources: latimes.com, crime.about.com, smh.com.au, slate.com, bbc.co.uk
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