LWOP Studies and Literature

June 24th, 2020

As the movement to challenge mass incarceration evolves there is growing attention being given to the dramatic impact of life sentences on the prison population. In 2019 national and state groups worked to build the base of support for ending life imprisonment. State advocates and organizers facilitated connections through strategy sessions to support reform.

Changing Perception, Changing the Law

Please share widely with your resources and post this new article that shows what we can learn from the battle to end death by incarceration across the country.


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Governor Brown signs into law SB 394, giving a chance for parole to youth under 18 sentenced to LWOP! Governor Brown signed SB 394 (Lara), giving people who committed a crime under age 18 and were sentenced to life without parole the chance to earn parole, with a first opportunity for a hearing after 24 years of incarceration

Criminal InjusticeAlec Karakatsanis puts “human caging” and “wealth-based detention” in America on trial.


The Truth About Life Without Parole: Condemned to Die in Prison. Published in 2011 on the ACLU of Northern California's website, advocates for LWOP as a "reasonable alternative" to lethal injection. 



Campaign to End the Death Penalty. One of the few death penalty abolitionist organizations that does not support LWOP as an alternative to traditional forms of execution, such as lethal injection.


Commons Hope and Redemption for LWOP prisoners in California. 

A candid interview with prisoners sentenced to LWOP and how they are trying to make a better life for themselves and others.

Important Links

Death Penalty Information Center. An excellent overview of LWOP.


Life Without Parole: A Different:Death Penalty. Written by capital defense attorney David Dow in the October 2012 issue of The Nation.


Life Without Parole is Forever. Authored by Robert Wilburn in the September 2012 issue of Truthout.


The Sentencing Project has published several highly visible and important reports about LWOP and the need for its abolition:  


1. Life Goes On


2. Tinkering With Life


3. STILL LIFE: America’s Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences.