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Life And Death Sentenced Offenders In State Prison
Life And Death Sentenced Offenders In State Prison [ 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 ]
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Offenders convicted of 1st degree murder may receive either a life or death sentence while those convicted of 2nd degree murder receive a life sentence. These sentences are served in state prisons. As the number of life and death sentence offenders increases, addressing the health care needs for the aging inmate population becomes an important issue.
During 2011, 148 offenders were committed to state prison with a life sentence and 3 offenders were committed with a death sentence.
Report | DATA | Printable Version
For every 100,000 Pennsylvanians, 1.2 persons were committed to state prison with a life sentence. The commitment rate for death sentences was less than one person per 100,000 Pennsylvanians.
Offenders committed for life sentences were most likely to be a minority and male. During 2011, males accounted for 98.0 percent of the 148 offenders committed to state prison with a life sentence. Minorities accounted for 79.7 percent.Of the 148 committed to a life sentence, 60.2 percent were age 29 and younger. Specifically, 6.8 percent were age 19 or younger, 33.1 percent were age 20 to 24, and 20.3 percent were age 25 to 29.
During 2011, there were 4,971 offenders serving life sentences in state prison and 205 with death sentences. The number of those serving life sentences increased 2.9 percent from 2010 to 2011, a 37.5 percent increase from 2000, and a 132.4 percent increase from 1990.
The number of inmates with death sentences remained relatively stable in the last few years. However, the 2011 figure represented a 72.3 percent increase from 1990.For every 100,000 Pennsylvanians, there were 39.0 offenders serving life sentences and 1.6 with a death sentence in state prison during 2011. These rates follow similar patterns of change as the number of offenders. Life sentences continued to trend upward while death sentences remain stable.
During 2011, the average age of an inmate serving a life sentence was 45.0 years. The average age of an inmate serving a death sentence was 46.0 years. While 4.0 percent of those with life sentences were age 24 or younger, the majority of offenders with life or death sentences were age 40 or older.
Offenders with a life sentence may be released on parole if their sentence is commuted. In 2011, there were 3 lifers that were discharged; however, one was bailed and another was transferred to another state. During 2011, 30 offenders, who were serving life sentences, died in prison.
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