Life Sentence – A sentence of imprisonment until death. Life imprisonment is a sentence that may be imposed following a judgment of conviction for specific crimes in which the defendant is committed to be held in prison until death. Some sentences are specific in allowing a possibility of parole, or early release allowed on a showing of reformed behavior. Some sentences are specific in forbidding any possibility of parole, and some are issued under statutes or in penal systems that have no option of parole.
In the case of a person sentenced to life imprisonment who is either ineligible for parole or never granted parole, that person shall live out the remainder of the person’s life in prison. As a matter of constitutional law, when a jury considers the sentence of a person who has been convicted of committing a crime that makes the defendant eligible for a sentence of death, the jury must have the option of a life sentence instead.
Magistrate – A judicial officer in an office of limited authority. A United States Magistrate-Judge is the holder of a magistrate judgeship, a judicial office with specific and limited duties in support of a court of general jurisdiction.
United States magistrates may hear a variety of motions, try minor cases that do not require the summoning of a jury, act by appointment in the absence of a judge over certain matters, assist in the trial of a case otherwise supervised by a judge, and hear certain matters on which the magistrate rules by report and recommendation to the U.S. District Judge.