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Life imprisonment is any sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in jail for the rest of his or her life or until paroled. Examples of crimes for which a person could receive this sentence include murder, severe child abuse, rape, high treason, drug dealing or human trafficking, or aggravated cases of burglary or robbery resulting in death or grievous bodily harm. This sentence does not exist in all countries. Portugal was the first country in the world to abolish life imprisonment by the prison reforms of Sampaio e Melo in 1884. However, where life imprisonment is a possible sentence, there may also be formal mechanisms to request parole after a certain period of imprisonment. This means that a convict could be entitled to spend the rest of the sentence outside prison. Early release is usually conditional depending on past and future conduct, possibly with certain restrictions or obligations. In contrast, when a fixed term of imprisonment has ended, the convict is free. The length of time and the modalities surrounding parole vary greatly for each jurisdiction. In some places, convicts are entitled to apply for parole relatively early, in others, only after several decades. However, the time until being entitled to apply for parole does not necessarily tell anything about the actual date of parole being granted. Article 110 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court stipulates that for the gravest forms of crimes, a prisoner ought to serve two thirds of a fixed sentence, or 25 years in the case of a life sentence. The highest determined prison sentence that can be imposed in the ICC, aside from life imprisonment, is 35 years. After this period, the court will review the sentence to determine whether or not it should be reduced. (via Freebase)