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Tough measures keep prisoners behind bars for life

Adam Liptak of The New York Times , examined information about prisoners serving life sentences in all 50 states, finding "that about 132,000 of the nation's prisoners, or almost 1 in 10, are serving life sentences. The number of lifers has almost doubled in the last decade, far outpacing the overall growth in the prison population . Of those lifers sentenced between 1988 and 2001, about a third are serving time for sentences other than murder, including burglary and drug crimes." Janet Roberts of The New York Times' computer-assisted reporting unit led the research for this series. The story includes a sidebar about how the story was reported.

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