Back-To-Back Life Sentences Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Back-To-Back Life Sentences, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Back-To-Back Life Sentences?

(n) The term ‘Back To Back’ is used to represent imposing of two life term punishments on a person for different crimes committed by him, where by one punishment takes away any leniency available in the punishment term of the other. Eg Parole possible on one punishment term is stopped by the act of the other concurrent punishment.

History and Meaning of Back-To-Back Life Sentences

Back-to-Back life sentences refer to the imposition of two consecutive life sentences on an individual for separate crimes. The punishment is ordered by the court, whereby the penalty for one is not affected by the penalty of the other, and both punishments must be served in full. The term "back-to-back" suggests that the second sentence starts immediately after the first's completion, leaving no chance of leniency being provided.

Back-to-back life sentences are generally given to notorious offenders involved in multiple crimes that are reprehensible, heinous, and gruesome. The offender must be found guilty of the second crime after serving the first life sentence. Under the law, life sentences do not allow for parole or early release, making back-to-back life sentences one of the most severe punishments handed down to offenders.

Examples of Back-To-Back Life Sentences

  1. In 2013, a Canadian killer was given back-to-back life sentences for killing and dismembering two individuals.
  2. Charles Raby, a convicted murderer, was sentenced to back-to-back life terms in a Kansas prison for murdering two women in 2016.
  3. Russell Tillis, a Florida convicted murderer, was given back-to-back life sentences for murdering two young women and burying their bodies in the backyard in 2016.

Legal Terms Similar to Back-To-Back Life Sentences

  1. Concurrent Sentences: Concurrent sentences are two or more sentences of incarceration for various offences served simultaneously under one prison stay.
  2. Consecutive Sentences: Consecutive sentencing is the opposite of concurrent sentencing, where the convicted must finish serving t one sentence before starting to serve another.
  3. Stacked Sentences: This term generally refers to multiple sentences that run consecutively, enhancing a defendant’s sentence.