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10 Longest Prison Sentences Ever Handed Out

Justice is what everyone demands once a criminal is brought to court. The judge and the jury are tasked with weighing the crime and matching it to the right punishment that meets its damage. However, no matter how heinous crime is, the judge can only attach several years they believe will be enough to atone for the crimes or sentence them to death. But what happens when even death is not enough to pay for one’s sins? Some people commit crimes so evil that even the maximum named sentence is just not enough to bring justice and that is when the jury has to invent a whole new standard to punish the criminals. Here are ten longest prison sentences ever handed out.

Chamoy Thypiaso, 141,078 Years

It is the longest sentence ever imposed on a criminal in history. Chamoy Thypiaso was an employee of the Thai Airforce when she started a pyramid scheme in the 1960s. She used her connections in the Thai Army and royal family to get up to 16,000 clients whom she conned into believing they were buying shares. Her scheme had netted over $200 million by the time it was shut down in the 80s. It had made many prominent people angry, and Thypiaso seemed to have angered the judge too. The court decided that the next 140 Millenia were not even enough to pay for this crime leading to the abnormally long sentence. Thypiaso’s powerful contacts in government, however, came to her aid as an appeal led to the reduction of the sentence to just 20 years. She only served eight years before being released.[1]

Otman, El-Gnaoui & Jamal Zougam, 43,000 Years

The Madrid train bombing is still considered one of the deadliest terrorist attacks that ever happened in Europe. It occurred when terrorists linked to Al-Qaida loaded explosives packed in bags on four trains killing 192 people and injuring 1800 others. The search that ensued led to the arrest of over 30 people, 21 of whom were found guilty, and the man responsible for transporting the bombs, Otman El-Gnaoui as well as his accomplice that placed them on the train were in for the longest sentences in European history. Under Spanish law, the terrorists were charged with up to 30 years for each death and 20 years for each injured person as well over 5000 years on related charges of committing a terrorist act. El-Gnaoui was sentenced to 42,924 years while Zougam received 42,922. Spain, however, caps all sentences at 40 years, so the terrorists still had a chance of being released while still alive.[2]

Emilio Suarez Trashorras, 34,715 Years

This was the supplier of the bombs used in the Madrid train bombings. He was the only Spanish citizen named for having a leading role in the blasts and a known member of Al-Qaeda. He stole dynamite from a mine in Austria and supplied it to the bombers. His reason for participation in this attack was however more personal than spiritual. Trashorras’ brought the bombs to the terrorists in exchange for drugs, an aspect that angered the judge even more. He was similarly charged with the murder of 192 passengers as well as the injury of 1800 others receiving a minimum of 20 years on each head. His sentence was however automatically capped to 40 years under Spanish law.[3][4]

Charles Scott Robinson, 30,000 Years

Charles Robinson had previous convictions for burglary, concealing stolen property and attempted robbery, all for which he had served sentences. When he was arrested on charges of raping and abusing six children, the government made it clear that the jury could not sentence him to life without parole. This angered the jury and the judge, in turn, decided to hand him the longest sentence in US history. For each account of rape, the jury recommended that Robinson is given 5000 years which the judge declared as consecutive and not concurrent sentences. This way, even if he sought parole on each count, he would have to wait for at least 13 years after each parole totaling to 78 years on the minimum. By the time of his imprisonment, Robinson was 30 years old. He would be at least 108 years old before getting a chance of a release on parole. The judge told him that this would ensure he spent the rest of his natural life in prison.[5]

Terry Nichols, 161 Lifetimes

Terry Nichols was convicted of helping Timothy McVeigh carry out the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings that killed 168 people and injured 500 others marking the deadliest ever act of domestic terrorism in American History. While McVeigh was carrying out the bombings, Nichols was in Kansas, but he later confessed to having helped McVeigh purchase ammonium nitrate and also hide a getaway car. His first conviction was life without parole on federal charges because eight FBI agents died in the bombing. Oklahoma then decided to maim him further by sentencing him to a life without parole for each victim of the bombing to be served consecutively. Impossible as the sentence was, the judge still thought it was lenient and settled on instead of the death penalty because the jury could not agree on a verdict.[6][7]

Alan Wayne Mclaurin, 20,750 Years

Alan Wayne was accused alongside Darron Anderson for attacking a woman on a highway in 1993 in Tulsa County. Alan Wayne was accused of 13 felonies for which the jury gave him 4,275 years, the longest sentence for a non-murder crime in Tulsa at the time. McLaurin, however, appealed the sentence which made the whole of Tulsa county angry leading to the Tulsa district attorney’s request for at least 1000 years per felony on the second trial. The Jury more than agreed with the district attorney’s recommendation because, in the retrial, they simply slapped McLaurin with 16,000 more years. His sentence was lengthened because he showed no concern for his victim and even claimed that the abuse was consensual.[8][9]

Dudley Wayne, 10,000 Years & Two Life Sentences

It was once recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest sentence ever handed out. Dudley Wayne was convicted of murdering his wife, her mother and Richard Barringer, a student during the Halloween of 1976. He was once considered insane, but the Jury sentenced him to the electric chair anyway. His sentence was however overturned in 1977 as the state of Alabama banned the death penalty. In his retrial in 1981, the jury gave him the longest sentence the US history at the time. The judge agreed that 10,000 years for murder was in agreement with the law and he declared in a consecutive sentence alongside the two life sentences. He was, however, eligible for parole but by 2016, having served 39 years of his impossible sentence, he had been denied parole ten times as the district attorney still considers him a dangerous man.[10]

Martin Bryant, 35 Life Sentences & 1,035 Years

The Port Arthur Massacre which occurred on April 29th, 1996 caused a public outrage that led to enacting of strict gun control regulations in Australia. Bryant had a mental disability, but he was doing well after his former employer left him her entire estate. In 1996, carrying a semiautomatic rifle in a bag, Bryant entered a café and ordered a meal before turning on his fellow diners. He killed 20 people on site and went on to kill everyone he saw on the street as he drove away. He was arrested the following day after a hostage situation that ended after Bryant set himself and the entire house on fire. Despite clear reasons to prove insanity, the jury still gave him a life sentence for each life he took and a 1,035-year bonus without parole for all the other crimes involved. He has since attempted suicide more than 20 times in prison.[11][12]

Darron Bennalford Anderson, 11,250 Years

Darren Anderson was Alan Wayne’s accomplice in the rape, assault, and robbery of Penny Sue Stuckey on January 4th, 1993. Unlike Wayne who was present throughout the episode which started on the highway to Stuckey’s home, Anderson only joined his friends at Penny’s house, so the jury first decided that 2200 years was enough for his crimes. Anderson appealed alongside Wayne, and the jury agreed to teach him a lesson as well. By the time of the second trial, the victim had become angry at their false claims in court that she consented to the assault and came out publicly forfeiting anonymity. The case was all over the news and district attorney requested for a stricter sentence. The jury unanimously agreed to add more than 9,000 years to the initial sentence setting Anderson’s time of release to the year 13, 243, around 10,000 years before Wayne but still one of the longest sentences ever given to a non-murder offender.[13]

Abdullah Barghouti, 67 Life Sentences & 5200 Years

This man was once the most common name in Israeli news as he was identified as the bomb maker that created the bombs used by Hamas anti-occupation rebels to bomb Israeli settlements. Barghouti was accused alongside other Palestinian and Jordanian fighters of causing the deaths of 66 Israelis in the bombs and declared the most wanted terrorist in the middle east. Israeli special forces arrested him in 2003 and sentenced to the highest number of lifetimes without parole in the history of terrorism indictments. The additional 5200 years were added for the sake of all the wounded civilians in the attacks between 2001 and 2002. He became a popular figure in prison after writing his book “The Prince of the Shadow” and going on a 100-day hunger strike that forced the Israeli prison system to allow family visits for Palestinian prisoners. Israel has however refused to release him in several prisoner swaps since his imprisonment.[14][15]

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