Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes was recently sentenced to over 3,000 years in prison on top of 12 life terms under US criminal law. That could sound lenient (he did avoid the death penalty) or needlessly excessive (he’ll never serve that many years). But his is only the fourth-longest prison sentence in United States history.
Who’s gotten a longer prison sentence? Here are the top five:
1. Chamoy Thipyaso- Thailand
Thipyaso was found guilty of defrauding over 16,000 people in a pyramid scheme valued at over $204 million in 1989. Thipyaso was sentenced to 141,078 years under criminal law .
2. Charles Scott Robinson: 30,000 years
Oklahoma child rapist Charles Scott Robinson owns the record for the longest jail term given to a single person on multiple counts in US. On December 23, 1994, Robinson was sentenced to 30,000 years in prison — 5,000 years for each of the six counts against him under criminal law .
A judge who said he was weary of criminals serving only a portion of their time sentenced a man convicted of raping children to 30,000 years in prison.
The jury that convicted Charles Scott Robinson on Dec. 14 had recommended 5,000 years in prison for each of the six counts against him under criminal law. Jurors, who couldn’t sentence him to life without parole, said they wanted Robinson behind bars for good.
Robinson’s previous convictions were for nonviolent crimes of burglary, attempted burglary, concealing stolen property and possession of a stolen vehicle.
District Judge Dan Owens on Thursday chose to order the sentences consecutively instead of concurrently, meaning that the 30-year-old Robinson probably couldn’t be paroled until he is at least 108 years old.
“By doing that, I think I can assure that you will spend the rest of your natural life in the confines of the Department of Corrections,” Owens told Robinson.
3. Allan Wayne McLaurin: 21,250 years
McLaurin was the accomplice of Darron Bennalford Anderson who himself received “the greatest amount of jail time given as a result of an appeal.” Anderson, also from Oklahoma, was found guilty in 1994 of crimes ranging from rape of an elderly woman to larceny, robbery, and kidnapping,under criminal law and originally sentenced to 2,200 years. He appealed, won a new trial, and was convicted again, only this time the jury sentenced Anderson to 11,250 years, adding 6,300 to his sentence. He appealed again in 1997 and got the parole date for the year 12,744.
McLaurin’s original sentence of 21,250 years was reduced by 500 years on appeal
4. Darron Bennalford Anderson – United States
Anderson was convicted along with his accomplice, McLaurin (who also appears on this list) for kidnapping, raping and robbing an elderly woman. Anderson was sentenced to less time than his accomplice, but it was still a whopping 11,250 years under criminal law
5. Dudley Wayne Kyzer: 10,000 years
Alabama’s Dudley Wayne Kyzer was sentenced to 10,000 years for killing his wife in 1981. Kyzer was also convicted of killing his mother-in-law and a college student who just happened to be at the same house on Halloween in 1976. He was also given life sentences for each of the murders on top of the 10,000 years under criminal law . The judge justified his verdict in the name of the brutality of the murders and he has been denied parole 9 times.
6. James Eagan Holmes: 12 life sentences and 3,318 years without parole
Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012. He was sentenced to 12 life terms for each murder, plus 3,318 more years in prison for additional counts of attempted murder, one count of possessing an illegal explosive device, and one sentence enhancement of a crime of violence under criminal law .
7. Bobbie Joe Long: 28 life sentences, 99 years, and 1 death sentence
Bobbie Joe Long from Florida was given 28 life sentences, an additional 99 years of imprisonment, and a death sentence for raping over 50 women and killing more than 25 of them. He would answer classified ads for small appliances, and if he found a woman home alone, he would rape her.
While sending people to prison for sentences longer than their life may seem strange, sentences of hundreds and even thousands of years can be the result of a jury’s verdict, combined with mandatory sentencing criminal law, or the judge’s discretion regarding the nature of some of these very terrible crimes.