Crime > Punishment > Minimum life sentence to serve before eligibility for requesting parole: Countries Compared

DEFINITION: Minimum to serve before eligibility for requesting parole.

No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

Afghanistan Never
Albania 25 years
Argentina 20 years or never
Armenia 20 years or never
Australia 10 years, 20 years, 25 years, or never; individually set by judge
Austria 15 years (Imprisonment for a definite period) or never (Imprisonment for lifetime, when clemency is rejected by President)
Azerbaijan Never
Belarus 25 years
Belgium 15 years (no previous conviction or below 3 years), 19 years (previous conviction below 5 years), or 23 years (previous conviction 5 years or more)
Belize Never
Bolivia Varies, depending on sentence
Bosnia and Herzegovina Varies, depending on sentence
Brazil Varies, depending on sentence
Bulgaria 20 years or never
Canada 7 years minimum to infinite
Cape Verde Varies, depending on sentence
Chile 40 years or never
China 10 years for non-violent crimes; never for murder, rape, kidnap, arson, explosives offences, putting hazardous materials or other organized violent crimes
Colombia Varies, depending on sentence
Costa Rica Varies, depending on sentence
Croatia Varies, depending on sentence
Cuba Never; only under pardon by president
Cyprus 20 years
Czech Republic 20 years general 30 or more years if part of sentence
Denmark 12 years, or never
Dominican Republic Varies, depending on sentence
Ecuador Varies, depending on sentence
Egypt Never
El Salvador Varies, depending on sentence
Estonia Never
Finland 12 years for court release, any time for presidential pardon
France 18\u201322 years (30 years or never for very rare cases)
Germany 15 years
Greece 16 years, or 20 years in cases of multiple life sentences
Holy See (Vatican City) 21 years, 26 years
Honduras Varies, depending on sentence
Hong Kong Individually set by judge
Hungary 20\u201340 years or never
Iceland 16 years
India 14 years or never; individually set by judge
Indonesia Never
Iraq Never
Ireland 12\u201330 years or never; individually set by judge
Israel 13\u201330 years or never
Italy 21 years, 26 years, or never
Jamaica 10\u201330 years or never; individually set by judge
Japan 10 years or never
Jordan Never
Kazakhstan 25 years or never
Kiribati 25 years or never
Kosovo Varies, depending on sentence
Kyrgyzstan Never
Laos Never
Latvia 25 years
Lebanon Never
Lithuania 25 years
Macau Varies, depending on sentence
Malaysia 20 years or never
Mexico Varies, depending on sentence
Morocco Never
Nepal 20 years
Netherlands Never
New Zealand 10 years, 17 years, 20 years, 30 years or never; individually set by judge
Nicaragua Varies, depending on sentence
Nigeria Never
North Korea Never
Norway Varies, depending on sentence
Pakistan 25 years
Panama Varies, depending on sentence
Paraguay Varies, depending on sentence
Peru 35 years or never
Poland 25 years or more\u2014individually set by judge
Portugal Varies, depending on sentence
Republic of Macedonia 15 years
Republic of the Congo Varies, depending on sentence
Romania 20 years
Russia 25 years
Saudi Arabia Never
Serbia Varies, depending on sentence
Singapore 20 years
Slovakia 25 years
Slovenia 25 years
Somalia Never
South Africa 10, 15, or 25 years
South Korea 10 years or never
Spain Varies, depending on sentence
Sweden 18 years or never, but parole hearing may be held after 10 years served, thus fixing a much later date for release on parole
Switzerland 10 years or 15 years; individually set by judge
Syria Never
Tajikistan Never
Tunisia Never
Turkey Life imprisonment: 24 years (30 if organized crime), Multiple life imprisonments: 30 years (34 if organized crime), Aggravated life imprisonment: 30 years (36 if organized crime), Multiple aggravated life imprisonments: 36 years (40 if organized crime), or never (aggravated life imprisonment for terrorism)
Turkmenistan Never
Ukraine 25 years
United States 15 years minimum to infinite, or never (depending on crime and state)
Uruguay Varies, depending on sentence
Uzbekistan 25 years or never
Venezuela Varies, depending on sentence
Vietnam 14 years or never


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