What Does it Mean When They Say Sandusky May Get 422 Years to Life?
By San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel Smith
It gets confusing, even for criminal defense attorneys. However, Sandusky is facing what is called an indeterminate sentence rather than a determinate sentence. With a determinate sentence there are a certain number of years of custody served after which the defendant is released and placed on parole. An indeterminate sentence, such as 15 years to life, means that when the defendant has served a percentage of his sentence, he may apply for parole. If he is denied, it may be quite a few years until he is eligible to apply again. The fact of the matter is that most indeterminate sentences result in a life sentence. A perfect example is Charles Manson. He recently applied for and was denied parole. He will not be eligible for another 15 years. He will have probably passed away by then. Why states adopt both is an open question. However, many scholars speculate that politicians use these sentences to appease the voters to get elected. What do you think?
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