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List Of Longest Prison Sentences Served [2023 Update]

longest prison sentence

The longest prison sentence that is given to a single person is 70 years long. A French Australian, Charles Fossard, was sentenced for murdering an older adult and also stole his boots. The period of 70 years and 303 days makes this one the longest prison sentence ever.

On the other hand, there are various countries where the prison punishments of some individuals are still ongoing and this includes the prison of Joseph Ligon, John Phillips, Francis Clifford Smith, and many more. Read below to know more. 

The Longest Prison Sentence Given Ever Till Now

Prison Sentence

In the United States, a life sentence means a person in prison for fifteen years with the chance for parole. Now, let’s discuss the lists of the longest prison sentences that are served throughout the world.

1. Charles Fossard 

In the year 1903, a homeless French Australian, Charles Fossard, was sentenced for murdering an elderly and stealing his boots. He was recluded at J Ward mental asylum, which is located in Arat, Victoria. He died while in prison in 1974. It is the longest prison sentence in the whole world. 

2. Francis Clifford Smith

On 7th June 1950, Francis Clifford Smith has announced a death sentence. He is the oldest prisoner in Connecticut. He was charged with murdering a nightwatchman when he was robbing at a yacht club. In the Osborn Correctional Institution, he was imprisoned, but in 2020 he has been moved to the hospital. He has completed 70.5 years of his sentence and is still going. 

3. Paul Geidel Jr.

With a duration of 68 years and 245 days in prison, Paul Geidel Jr was released on his parole. At the age of 17, he has committed second-degree murder in the year 1911. It is considered the second-longest prison sentence in the entire U.S. continent. 

4. John Phillips

On July 17, 1952, John Philips was proved guilty of raping a 5 years old girl. He has already completed 68.5 years in prison. He is the longest prison sentence survivor in North Carolina. His prison sentence is still going.

5. William Heirens

With a duration of 65 years and 181 days, it is the longest prison sentence in Chicago, who was a survivor. In the year 2012, he died in the Dixon Correctional Center, Dixon, Illinois. He had confessed his three murders and was sentenced to life in prison on 15th November 1928. 

After a notorious message scribbled in lipstick was found at the crime scene, Heirens was called “Lipstick killer.” A novel was also published in 1953, with the name The Bloody Spur by Charles Einstein. Later in the year 1956, Fritz Lang made a film based on the book and named it While the City Sleeps. 

6. Walter H. Bourque Jr.

At the age of 17, Walter murdered a 4 years old girl with an ax. He has been served a prison sentence of 99 years and 6 months. It is the longest prison sentence survivor in New Hampshire. Since 1955, his prison sentence is still ongoing. 

7. Clarence Marshall

For one count of armed robbery and an unarmed assault with the intention of robbery and stealing, Marshal was sentenced to life in 1950. In the year 2015, Marshal was paroled with a total prison duration of 64 years and 70 days. It is the longest prison sentence survivor in Michigan. 

8. Charles Edret Ford

In 1952, Charles Edret Ford was declared guilty by an all-white jury. At that time, he was 19. After 64 years of a prison sentence, he was released in 2016 to a nursing home. He is the longest prison sentence survivor in Maryland. 

9. Hugh Alderman

Hugh Alderman is the longest prison sentence survivor in Florida. He was sentenced in 1917. He escaped twice in the year 1919 and also 1924. In 1927 he was sent to a mental asylum and died at the age of 86 in 1980. His total prison duration is 62 years and 192 days.

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10. Kenneth Nicely

For killing a police officer, Nicely was released from prison in 1958. He has already spent 62 years in a prison sentence and still counting his days. He is the longest prison sentence for survivor inmates in Arkansas. 

11. Clifford Hampton

Clifford Hampton is the longest prison sentence Juvenile lifer in Louisiana. After 60 years from 1959, he was paroled in 2019. Due to Montgomery v. Louisiana, he was also resentenced on time during that period. 

12. Raymond L. Shuman

Raymond L. Shuman has been sentenced to jail on 13th June 1958 for robbery and murder of two men. He was AWOL from the US navy. While in prison, he also set a prisoner on fire due to a dispute regarding leaving the window open in 1973. On 3rd February 2018, he died in jail. He is the longest prison survivor in Nevada. 

13. Harvey Stewart

In 1951, Stewart was sentenced for robbery and released in 1957. Again in 1958, for murder, he was proved guilty and sentenced to 1984. Lastly, in 1986, again for a robbery case, he went to jail and was paroled in 2011. At the third time, he became the longest prison sentence survivor in Texas. 

14. Booker T. Hillery

For a murder charge, Booker T. Hillery was accounted guilty and sentenced to death in 1962, but later in the 1970s changed to life in prison. In 1986, he appealed and retried but was again found guilty. He has already spent 58 years of his sentence life and is still counting. It makes him the longest prison sentence survivor in California. 

15. Hans-Georg Neumann

He abducted and also shot a young couple at a lover’s lane and was sentenced to prison in 1963. With a duration of more than 57 years and counting, he is the longest prison sentence survivor in Germany and also the European Union. 

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16. Leotha Brown

From 1964, Leotha Brown has already completed 56 years of a life sentence for murder. It is the longest prison sentence surviving in Louisiana. 

Some More

Apart from the above-mentioned longest prison sentence that is served, here is another extra one.

17. Mehmet VI

He is the last Ottoman Prince who was imprisoned by his family as a ritual. It is also the longest prison sentence in his family. From his birth in 1861, he was imprisoned for 56 years to his accession to the throne in 1918. The prison sentences keep on changing with the changing needs of the situation if your lawyer is good then he can help you in that. 

The Final Thoughts 

Getting a jail term is not the end of the world if you have wrongly been convicted. Good lawyers can always be contacted to create cases and argue against wrongful imprisonment. If you wish to know more about Bail Bonds, you can contact me here. It will keep your eyes open if you want to know about the terms of this prison.

As per the modern laws of the United States, some are even sentenced to 1000 years in prison. This means they are given life in prison and all sentences after that were served concurrently. Thus, the above listed are the seventeen individuals with the longest sentence given till now. 

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is the feature writer of Search Engine Magazine and an SEO Analyst at Real Wealth Business. Over the last 3 years, He has successfully developed and implemented online marketing, SEO, and conversion campaigns for 50+ businesses of all sizes. He is the co-founder of Social Media Magazine.

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