Fighting to End the Other Death Sentence: Life Without Parole

BY:  Jean Trounstine



September 16, 2018

and Austin Serat, Jr., explains that the United States, unlike Europe, rejects the role of “dignity” in its sentencing practices. Joseph Dole, currently serving life without parole at Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois, and the author of numerous articles (several 

published in Truthout) discussed progress against harsh sentencing in a letter: “There has finally been an acknowledgment that long sentences are the main driver of mass incarceration, that people age out of crime and are thus less of a threat when they are older, and that longer sentences don’t deter or reduce crime.”


When incarcerated people in 17 states initiated a 19-day prison strike last month, one of their 10 demands was that all “imprisoned humans have [the] possibility of rehabilitation and parole.” This includes the opportunity for early release, allowing prisoners both to exit before the end of their sentence and to serve their remaining time in the community.

It also means an end to the harsh sentencing practice known as life without the possibility of parole (LWOP). In an August 26 interview with MSNBC, formerly incarcerated activist Darren Mack described LWOP as “death by incarceration,” explaining, “You will not leave prison until you die.”

Noted political scientist and author Marie Gottschalk has called life without parole “death in slow motion.” Pope Francis deemed it “a death penalty in disguise.” Kenneth Hartman, who served more than 37 years in prison before California governor Jerry Brown commuted his sentence, was the first to label it “the other death penalty.” When he was still behind bars, Hartman wrote for The Marshall Project that life without parole is “the sense of being dead while you’re still alive, the feeling of being dumped into a deep well struggling to tread water until, some 40 or 50 years later, you drown.”

Across the country, activists inside and outside prison are making headway in organizing to end this harsh sentencing practice. They say more and more people are realizing that the US is an outlier in extreme sentencing. Jonathan Simon, writing in Life Without Parole: America’s New Death Penalty by Charles Ogletree

Organizing to End Life Without Parole in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania prisoners are spending the pandemic locked in “bathroom-like” cells 23 hours a day. It’s the longest statewide lockdown ever, and some say it’s pushing them to the brink.   


In Loving Memory of Diane Hamill Metzger

July 1949 - January 2019


Rest in peace Diane.  You will be greatly missed by so many friends and family members.

John 14:2-3

2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Daughter, Mother (Sheena), Son

Click on the picture to read Sheena's resume'.


Sheena is an aspiring writer who is serving a LWOP sentence at SCI Muncy; her memoir "Submerged" is available on Kindle from Amazon!

Submerged is a story of a child's painful road to adult hood and all the heartbreak, loss and pain she had to endure in order to be able to finally emerge from the ghastly life that once submerged her and threatened to...........

WLRPPA does not profit from the sale of this publication.

Women whose death sentence was vacated or granted Medical                                                  Release or Commuted 

Governor Shapp:

Evelyn Newman—-paroled 10-19-1972

Thelma Simons—- paroled 10-19-1972

Jean Davis-----------paroled 09-14-1972

Beatrice Sullivan—paroled 01/10/1973

Gloria Paskings—--paroled 01/09/1975

Susan Feldman—--paroled 03-30-1978

Ladainty Little----—paroled 03-31-2003



Governor Casey:

Grace Azzarella –---paroled 06-06-1988

Thomasina Toney—paroled 01/28/1993


Compassionate Release:

Wanda Moore, 2005

Theresa Battles, 2016


Letitia Smallwood, sentence overturned by PA Innocence Project, 2014

Judy Showers, 2013 sentenced vacated on appeal


Juvenile Lifers:

Roxanne Severcool, 2016, resentenced to time served

Paulette Carrington, 2016, plea deal 35-life, served 38 years

SCI Muncy

Box 180 RT 405

Muncy, Pa 17756-0180

(570) 546-3171

Women Lifer's Resume Project of PA

P.O. Box 854

Washington Crossing, PA 19877

Originators:  Brittany Williams & Sheena King
Co-Developers:  Ellen Melchiondo & Darlene Williams

SCI Cambridge Springs

451 Fullerton Ave

Cambridge Springs, Pa 16403

(814) 398-5400

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