Life without Parole: The Story of George Martorano

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Life without parole means you will spend the rest of your life in prison; permanently separated from family and friends, no second chances, no chance of redemption. The hard reality is that life without parole means you will die in prison. No one in the United States sentenced to life without parole has ever gotten parole. Its absolute. Imagine what would warrant such a punishment. Surely, you would believe, only the most horrific of crimes. But for 3,278 people in the US a non-violent offense meant a lifetime sentence, a sentence with no deliverance. These crimes often involve theft or drugs but no chance for rehabilitation is offered, no ability to redeem oneself is available.

For some individuals a life without parole sentence occurs when officials, using questionable tactics, solicit illicit confessions, for others it results from overzealous prosecutors or politically ambitious judges who seize on this opportunity to advance their professional status as ‘tough on crime’. Whatever the reason, in these cases, the draconian judgement of life without parole represents a gross injustice.

Directed by Jill R Frechie (USA)

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