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Life Imprisonment


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About the Author

Dirk van Zyl Smit is Professor of Comparative and International Penal Law at the University of Nottingham. Catherine Appleton is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Law at the University of Nottingham.


Part treatise, part worldwide empirical investigation, and part normative argument, Life Imprisonment is a tour de force. It shines bright light on a legislatively prescribed and judicially imposed sentence that, remarkably, has drawn practically no scholarly attention. Until now. For the foreseeable future this book will stand as the definitive source of information on and critique of the most serious punishment practically all countries regularly impose. -- James B. Jacobs, New York University School of Law
The authors have succeeded magnificently in weaving a vast array of materials into an authoritative text. Years of network building, data collection, fact checking, and interpretation have enabled them to make a major contribution to a pressing area of criminal law. This humane and important book will become the touchstone for scholars of extreme punishment. -- Ian O'Donnell, University College Dublin School of Law
Van Zyl Smit and Appleton have provided the first comprehensive study of the most common form of harsh punishment in the world today: the penal life sentence. For the first time research on this crucial topic can move on a comparative basis. This volume is an essential resource for the libraries of penal reformers, human rights lawyers, and students everywhere of comparative law, punishment, and society. -- Jonathan Simon, University of California Berkeley School of Law
Will inspire and influence scholars and public policy advocates everywhere...This excellent book is in a class by itself. * Choice *

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