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Criminal Sentencing and Punishment

A jury has found George Huguely guilty of second-degree murder in the 2010 death of his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love.

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Report: Gambia executes first inmates in about 30 yearsupdated: Sat Aug 25 2012 12:21:00

A top human rights advocacy group on Friday denounced what it claimed were the overnight executions of nine prisoners in Gambia, calling President Yahya Jammeh's stated intent to clear death row after a decades-long moratorium "a step back."

Norway killer Anders Breivik ruled sane, given 21-year prison termupdated: Fri Aug 24 2012 12:25:00

Anders Behring Breivik, the man who killed 77 people in a bomb attack and gun rampage just over a year ago, was judged to be sane by a Norwegian court Friday, as he was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Gambia vows to execute all death row inmates by September, sparking outcry updated: Thu Aug 23 2012 17:13:00

Gambia plans to execute all death row prisoners by September, the president said this week, sparking condemnation from human rights groups worldwide.

John Lennon's tooth sold for thousandsupdated: Thu Aug 23 2012 16:56:00

Anderson Cooper examines the nuances of a former housekeeper willing to hold onto one of John Lennon's teeth.

Man who shot John Lennon denied parole for 7th timeupdated: Thu Aug 23 2012 16:56:00

Mark David Chapman, the man convicted of killing former Beatle John Lennon, has been denied parole for a seventh time, according to the New York Department of Corrections.

John Lennon's killer seeks freedom again updated: Wed Aug 22 2012 16:38:00

Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's convicted killer, was making his seventh try at parole Wednesday.

John Lennon's killer seeks freedom again updated: Sat Aug 18 2012 11:04:00

Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's convicted killer, is up for parole for the seventh time and may be questioned as early as Tuesday, authorities said Friday.

'Onion Field' killer dies in prisonupdated: Tue Aug 14 2012 08:19:00

The infamous "Onion Field" cop killer whose 1963 crime was chronicled in a best-selling book and a movie has died, officials said Monday. He was 79.

Woman who kidnapped baby 25 years ago sentenced to 12 years in prisonupdated: Mon Jul 30 2012 20:31:00

A woman who admitted to stealing a 19-day-old infant from a Manhattan hospital in 1987 was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison.

Philadelphia D.A.: Verdict is a victoryupdated: Tue Jul 24 2012 16:59:00

Philadelphia's district attorney calls verdict in the priest abuse case a historical victory for victims.

Philly priest gets 3 to 6 years in abuse caseupdated: Tue Jul 24 2012 16:59:00

The highest-ranking Catholic Church cleric charged and convicted in the landmark Philadelphia child sexual abuse trial was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in prison Tuesday.

New Chinese investigation says high-profile dissident committed suicideupdated: Fri Jul 13 2012 07:28:00

Chinese officials concluded that the controversial death of a high-profile Chinese dissident who had spent more than 20 years in jail for his support of the Tiananmen Square protests was the result of suicide, a state-controlled news agency reported.

American sentenced for Thai insultupdated: Wed Jul 11 2012 06:35:00

A Thai-born American is sentenced to prison in Thailand for insulting the country's monarchy. CNN's Anna Coren reports.

Former dictators found guilty in Argentine baby-stealing trialupdated: Tue Jul 10 2012 11:56:00

An Argentinian court Thursday found two former dictators guilty of stealing dozens of babies during the country's dirty war.

Ex-dictator admits babies were stolenupdated: Tue Jul 10 2012 11:56:00

Former Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla admits that thousands of people "disappeared" during his regime.

When will the U.S. stop mass incarceration?updated: Tue Jul 03 2012 12:21:00

The United States leads the world in the rate of incarcerating its own citizens. We imprison more of our own people than any other country on earth, including China which has four times our population, or in human history. And now, a new Pew report announces that we are keeping even nonviolent inmates behind bars for increasingly longer terms.

Justices rule for underage killers sentenced to life without paroleupdated: Mon Jun 25 2012 14:54:00

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that two men convicted of killings committed when they were 14 cannot be sentenced to life in prison without at least the possibility of parole.

Court strikes down Arkansas law on execution methodsupdated: Fri Jun 22 2012 13:33:00

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Friday struck down the state law governing how death-penalty inmates are executed by lethal injection.

Prison fires prompt scrutiny of Turkey's jailsupdated: Tue Jun 19 2012 16:25:00

A series of recent fires in at least five detention centers around the country has raised questions about living conditions in Turkey's prison system.

Stunning sentence in Rutgers trialupdated: Tue Jun 19 2012 09:34:00

Dharun Ravi was sentenced for 30-days in jail for bullying gay roommate. Paul Callan says it's a 'shoplifting sentence.'

Conrad Murray: 'I feel like a P.O.W.'updated: Mon Jun 18 2012 17:25:00

Seven months in the Los Angeles County jail have taken a physical toll on Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted in Michael Jackson's death, his lawyer told CNN Monday.

Manson tapes shed light on cold cases?updated: Wed Jun 13 2012 23:05:00

Criminologist Casey Jordan on if old audio tapes of serial killer Charles Manson could lead LAPD to solve cold cases.

Parole hearing for Manson follower postponed after he is taken illupdated: Wed Jun 13 2012 23:05:00

The parole hearing for one of killer Charles Manson's followers, Bruce Davis, was continued Wednesday to an undetermined date after Davis became sick, a corrections spokesman said.

Charles Manson follower to have California parole hearingupdated: Tue Jun 12 2012 18:59:00

One of infamous killer Charles Manson's followers, Bruce Davis, is scheduled to have a California parole hearing on Wednesday, two years after parole had been granted to him but was overturned by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, officials said.

Girlfriend gets 8 years for hiding 'Whitey' Bulgerupdated: Tue Jun 12 2012 14:47:00

The girlfriend of James "Whitey" Bulger was sentenced to eight years in federal prison Tuesday for identity fraud and helping the reputed mob boss avoid capture for 16 years.

Mubarak sentenced to life in prisonupdated: Sat Jun 02 2012 09:32:00

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killing of protesters.

Dharun Ravi: accepts "responsibility"updated: Thu May 31 2012 07:51:00

In Tuesday's front lines, Fmr. Rutgers student, Dharun Ravi apologizes for spying on student who committed suicide.

Ex-Rutgers student convicted of bullying gay roommate starts jail termupdated: Thu May 31 2012 07:51:00

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student who was found guilty of spying on and intimidating his gay roommate, heads to jail Thursday to begin a 30-day term.

Ex-Rutgers student Dharun Ravi appears in court, one day before jail term updated: Wed May 30 2012 15:44:00

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student convicted of bias intimidation, appeared in court Wednesday, one day after he apologized for spying on his roommate with a webcam.

California death row inmate found dead hanging in his cellupdated: Wed May 30 2012 15:30:00

A 68-year-old California inmate on death row in San Quentin State Prison was found dead hanging in his cell, authorities said Tuesday.

Dharun Ravi apologizes for 'childish choices,' plans to head to jail updated: Tue May 29 2012 18:32:00

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student convicted of bias intimidation by use of a hidden webcam, apologized for his behavior and said he plans to submit to his impending jail sentence on Thursday.

Australian Corby has jail term cut in Indonesiaupdated: Thu May 24 2012 12:20:00

Schapelle Corby, the Australian serving time in a Bali, Indonesia, prison on a conviction of drug smuggling, has had her jail term cut by five years.

Man who helped find OBL lands jail timeupdated: Wed May 23 2012 22:02:00

A tribal court sentenced a Pakistani doctor to 33 years in jail for treason for helping the U.S. find Osama bin Laden.

Prosecutors to appeal 30-day sentence in Rutgers gay bullying caseupdated: Mon May 21 2012 19:46:00

Prosecutors will appeal a 30-day jail sentence handed down Monday against Dharun Ravi, the ex-Rutgers student convicted of spying on and intimidating his gay roommate, who then killed himself by jumping off New York's George Washington Bridge.

Judge reads Ravi sentence, mother weepsupdated: Mon May 21 2012 19:46:00

Dharun Ravi has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for spying on Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi.

States urge feds to help import lethal injection drugsupdated: Mon May 21 2012 18:22:00

A nationwide shortage of a commonly used imported drug used in capital punishment has prompted 15 states on Monday to urge the U.S. Justice Department to intervene.

Study finds nearly 1 in 10 state prisoners is sexually abused while incarceratedupdated: Thu May 17 2012 21:30:00

Nearly one of every 10 state prisoners is sexually victimized during confinement, according to a Justice Department study released Thursday.

Shame of mandatory minimums shows in Marissa Alexander caseupdated: Sat May 12 2012 10:26:00

There is no reason Marissa Alexander should spend the next 20 years in prison.

By the numbers: Politicians in troubleupdated: Fri Apr 27 2012 14:49:00

As the first week of the John Edwards federal criminal trial comes to an end, where the former Democratic senator and presidential candidate is accused of using hundreds of thousands of dollars of donations to conceal his affair with a campaign videographer without reporting the money to federal authorities, we wanted to take a look back at some statistics about other politicians in trouble.

Connecticut becomes 17th state to abolish death penaltyupdated: Wed Apr 25 2012 17:41:00

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a bill into law Wednesday that abolishes the death penalty, making his state the 17th in the nation to abandon capital punishment and the fifth in five years to usher in a repeal.

N.C. man no longer faces death after judge invokes 'Racial Justice Act'updated: Sat Apr 21 2012 04:28:00

A North Carolina judge set aside the death sentence of a convicted killer after concluding Friday that race played a role in the case, a landmark ruling that may call into question a number of death row cases in the state.

Program helps imprisoned parents stay connected to kidsupdated: Thu Apr 19 2012 16:08:00

For the last decade, Carolyn LeCroy has been helping children stay connected to their incarcerated parents through video messages.

Videos keep inmates, kids in touchupdated: Thu Apr 19 2012 16:08:00

Holly Robinson Peete spends a day with 2008 CNN Hero Carolyn LeCroy, who helps inmates send messages to their kids.

UK: Life in prison for 3 men who paralyzed girl in shootingupdated: Thu Apr 19 2012 09:41:00

Three men convicted in a London gang shooting that left a little girl paralyzed were sentenced to life in prison Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said.

Charles Manson denied parole, with next parole hearing set for 2027updated: Thu Apr 12 2012 05:41:00

Notorious killer Charles Manson, 77, was denied parole Wednesday after a California parole panel "could find nothing good as far as suitability" for his being paroled, a commissioner said.

Sharon Tate's sister on Charles Mansonupdated: Thu Apr 12 2012 05:41:00

Charles Manson is up for parole again. One of his most famous victims was Sharon Tate. Her sister spoke with CNN.

Connecticut lawmakers vote to repeal death penalty updated: Thu Apr 12 2012 05:37:00

Connecticut's governor says he will sign a bill abolishing the death penalty, making it the 17th state to abandon capital punishment.

Connecticut lawmakers to vote on death penalty repealupdated: Wed Apr 11 2012 13:06:00

Lawmakers in Connecticut's House of Representatives are expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would abolish the state's death penalty, one week after the bill passed the state Senate.

Bugliosi: Manson should stay behind barsupdated: Wed Apr 11 2012 02:18:00

The lawyer who prosecuted notorious killer Charles Manson says he's still a danger to society and shouldn't get paroled.

Charles Manson to have parole hearing, but he may not attendupdated: Wed Apr 11 2012 02:18:00

When a two-member panel holds a California parole hearing for notorious murderer Charles Manson on Wednesday, he will be represented by state-appointed attorney DeJon R. Lewis, who will urge the state to put Manson in a mental hospital, Lewis told CNN.

China sentences disabled activist to more than two years in jailupdated: Tue Apr 10 2012 01:21:00

A Chinese court on Tuesday sentenced a disabled lawyer who defended tenants' rights to more than two years in jail for "picking quarrels" and fraud, a local human rights advocacy group said.

Petit family hopes for speedy executionupdated: Thu Apr 05 2012 08:44:00

The Petit family addresses the media after learning a jury sentenced Joshua Komisarjevsky to death

Connecticut may be latest state to repeal death penaltyupdated: Thu Apr 05 2012 08:44:00

The Connecticut Senate on Thursday voted to repeal the death penalty, setting the stage for Connecticut to join several states that have recently abolished capital punishment.

Connecticut lawmakers to vote on death penaltyupdated: Wed Apr 04 2012 19:21:00

Lawmakers in Connecticut are grappling with a bill that would do away with the death penalty and make their state the fifth in five years to abolish capital punishment.

Ex-New Orleans cops get prison time in Danziger Bridge shootingsupdated: Wed Apr 04 2012 19:09:00

A federal judge Wednesday sentenced five former New Orleans police officers to prison terms ranging from six to 65 years for the shootings of unarmed civilians in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, prosecutors said.

Lindsay Lohan's troubled timelineupdated: Thu Mar 29 2012 13:56:00

Lindsay Lohan's convoluted path through the legal system, which began with a drunken driving arrest nearly five years ago, reached a resolution Thursday as a judge ended her formal felony probation.

Fewer countries using death penaltyupdated: Tue Mar 27 2012 19:13:00

Max Foster talks to human rights advocate, Bianca Jagger, about Amnesty International's report on capital punishment.

Amnesty International: Fewer nations execute moreupdated: Tue Mar 27 2012 19:13:00

Only 10% of countries carried out executions last year, but those employing the death penalty are doing so at an alarming rate, a new report says.

Justices mull whether life without parole appropriate for underage killersupdated: Tue Mar 20 2012 17:20:00

The Supreme Court struggled Tuesday, speaking in somber tones, when confronting one of its toughest criminal sentencing questions: whether two men convicted of killings committed when they were 14 deserve life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Don't put juveniles in jail for lifeupdated: Mon Mar 19 2012 10:21:00

There are more than 2,500 people serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for crimes they committed when they were juveniles. Some were as young as 13 when they were sent to prison.

Pulling children out of Nepal's prisonsupdated: Fri Mar 16 2012 12:01:00

Pushpa Basnet doesn't need an alarm clock. Every morning, the sounds of 40 children wake her up in the two-story home she shares with them.

CNN Hero: Pushpa Basnetupdated: Fri Mar 16 2012 12:01:00

Pushpa Basnet started a children's center in Nepal to help care for children of incarcerated parents.

Georgia man gets life after murder conviction in day care shootingupdated: Thu Mar 15 2012 19:44:00

A Georgia judge Thursday sentenced Hemy Neuman to life in prison without the possibility of parole after jurors convicted him of fatally shooting a father outside a suburban Atlanta day care center.

Jury reaches verdict in day care murderupdated: Thu Mar 15 2012 19:44:00

A Georgia jury found Hemy Neuman guilty of murder but mentally ill in the shooting death of a dad outside of a day care.

How injustice shapes America's identityupdated: Mon Mar 12 2012 17:08:00

How does injustice influence America's identity? Public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson explains.

Why are millions of Americans locked up?updated: Mon Mar 12 2012 17:08:00

I'm an attorney and I represent incarcerated people, both in my home state of Alabama and across the United States.

Virginia man pleads no contest to killing girlfriendupdated: Tue Feb 28 2012 17:44:00

A Virginia man pleaded no contest to capital murder on Tuesday in the death of his girlfriend and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Roanoke County officials said.

Christmas Day bomber sentenced to life in prisonupdated: Fri Feb 17 2012 07:47:00

The man who smuggled a bomb in his underwear aboard a commercial airliner on Christmas Day in 2009 has been sentenced to life in prison, months after he pleaded guilty for his role in what officials later determined was an al Qaeda plot.

'Underwear bomber' gets life in prisonupdated: Fri Feb 17 2012 07:47:00

CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab gets life in prison for attempting to blow up a plane in 2009.

No one should burn in prisonupdated: Thu Feb 16 2012 11:32:00

In central Honduras, more than 300 inmates burned or suffocated to death in a prison. One can only imagine the cries of those trapped in their cells, while no one could find a key to let them escape the flames. We can only try to comprehend the agony of the prisoners' parents, children, relatives or friends as they saw the images on television, wondering whether their loved ones survived or, if they died, how much they suffered in their final moments.

Human rights group calls for Iraq to end executionsupdated: Fri Feb 10 2012 05:33:00

A human rights group expressed alarm Thursday at the pace of executions in Iraq and called for Iraqi authorities to abolish the practice.

Utah inmate asks to die by firing squadupdated: Thu Feb 09 2012 19:40:00

A Utah death row inmate, convicted of beating a man with a tire jack and puncturing his liver with an inserted tire iron, has requested that he be allowed to die by firing squad, officials said Thursday.

Norwegian court convicts three in attack plot connected to Mohammed cartoonsupdated: Mon Jan 30 2012 17:17:00

A Norwegian court sentenced three people Monday for their roles in a plot to attack a Danish newspaper that published cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

Human Rights Watch expresses concern for aging prisonersupdated: Fri Jan 27 2012 17:34:00

The number of aging men and women in U.S. prisons is growing rapidly, Human Rights Watch said Friday, and it expressed concern for their care behind bars.

Inmate fatally stabs guard in Arkansasupdated: Fri Jan 20 2012 20:57:00

A prison guard was fatally stabbed Friday afternoon in eastern Arkansas by an inmate already serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.

Justices rule for death row inmate after legal mistakesupdated: Wed Jan 18 2012 13:35:00

The Supreme Court gave an Alabama death row prisoner another chance Wednesday to appeal his conviction after a mailroom mistake and other circumstances initially left him unable to pursue further claims in court.

Delaware governor commutes death sentenceupdated: Tue Jan 17 2012 17:33:00

Delaware's governor commuted the death sentence Tuesday of a convicted murderer who was set to be executed later this week.

Lawyers demand death sentence for Mubarakupdated: Mon Jan 09 2012 06:08:00

Civil rights lawyers demanded the death penalty for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday, joining prosecutor's calls for him to be executed.

EU's foreign policy chief demands Iran halt executions of woman, pastorupdated: Fri Jan 06 2012 08:14:00

The Europe Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton demanded Friday that Iran halt the pending executions of a woman sentenced to die by stoning and a Christian pastor convicted of apostasy.

Prosecutor seeks death sentence for Mubarakupdated: Thu Jan 05 2012 14:04:00

Prosecutors in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak formally requested a penalty of death by hanging for Mubarak and several of his fellow defendants Thursday, an attorney at the court said. Michael McCann: Why Bonds was sentenced to house arrest and not prisonupdated: Fri Dec 16 2011 22:51:00

Nearly nine years, thousands of attorneys' hours and reportedly more than $50 million of taxpayer money later, Barry Bonds has finally received his punishment for distorting the truth (he was found guilty of one count of obstruction of justice).

Judge rejects California's death-penalty procedureupdated: Fri Dec 16 2011 22:44:00

California's use of a three-drug combination in executing prisoners was declared invalid Friday by a Marin County judge, who ruled that a one-drug method should have been considered.

Bonds sentenced to 2 years probationupdated: Fri Dec 16 2011 18:55:00

Legal expert Sunny Hostin says it's a big win for Barry Bonds' defense team that he received two years probation.

Public discomfort leads to plunge in death sentencesupdated: Thu Dec 15 2011 14:20:00

Death sentences plunged this year and the number of executions continued a steady decline as a result of "growing discomfort" felt by many Americans on the application of capital punishment.

Jury recommends death in Connecticut home invasion caseupdated: Fri Dec 09 2011 19:33:00

A jury recommended Friday that Joshua Komisarjevsky receive the death penalty for his role in a deadly Connecticut home invasion in 2007.

California probes why guards fired seven rounds in prison riotupdated: Thu Dec 08 2011 16:23:00

California officials are investigating why correctional officers fired seven lethal rounds to quell a prison riot in Sacramento this week in which one inmate was shot in the leg, authorities said.

Blagojevich gets 14 years in prison for corruptionupdated: Wed Dec 07 2011 18:25:00

A federal judge sentenced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to 14 years in prison for corruption Wednesday.

Philadelphia prosecutors drop death penalty against Abu-Jamal updated: Wed Dec 07 2011 13:11:00

Philadelphia prosecutors have dropped their pursuit of the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of shooting a police officer three decades ago.

Maryland county ex-chief sentenced to prisonupdated: Tue Dec 06 2011 14:40:00

A former top elected official for Prince George's County, Maryland, was sentenced to more than seven years in prison and fined $100,000 Tuesday after pleading guilty to federal extortion and evidence-tampering charges.

Conrad Murray sentenced to four years behind barsupdated: Wed Nov 30 2011 05:46:00

Dr. Conrad Murray was sentenced Tuesday to four years in the Los Angeles County jail -- the maximum sentence allowed under the law -- in the death of Michael Jackson. He may serve no more than two, however.

Murray lawyer not surprised by sentenceupdated: Wed Nov 30 2011 05:46:00

Dr. Conrad Murray's defense attorney Michael Flanagan says he's not surprised by Murray's four-year jail sentence.

Oregon's death penalty halt merciful and rightupdated: Fri Nov 25 2011 23:13:00

Some found it shocking when Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber granted convicted double-murderer Gary Haugen a reprieve Tuesday, setting aside Haugen's scheduled December 6 execution. Haugen, who killed another prisoner while serving a life sentence for a previous murder, had waived all appeals.

Oregon governor blocks executions for rest of termupdated: Tue Nov 22 2011 22:24:00

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber blocked the execution of a death row inmate on Tuesday and said no more executions will take place in the state as long as he is governor.

Life sentence in deadly pharmacy shootingupdated: Thu Nov 10 2011 21:21:00

A New York man was sentenced Thursday to life without parole for killing four people at a Long Island pharmacy in June.

CNNMoney: California county to charge prisoners for their jail stayupdated: Wed Nov 09 2011 14:49:00

In the latest case of government belt-tightening, a Southern California county is charging prisoners for the daily cost of their stay.

Patient: Dr. Murray loved Jacksonupdated: Tue Nov 08 2011 08:03:00

One of Conrad Murray's former patients is outraged at a jury's decision to convict Murray in Michael Jackson's death.

Pakistani cricketers jailed in betting scamupdated: Thu Nov 03 2011 16:46:00

Three top Pakistani cricketers were jailed Thursday after being convicted of plotting to cheat and to take bribes in a match against England last summer, in a scandal that rocked the international sport.

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