The Longest Serving Prisoner In History Is Still Serving His Sentence After 71 Years

If you’re serving a life sentence, chances are you’ve done something pretty bad. So, who was number one? Francis Clifford Smith, 94, has been serving a life sentence for over 71 years since his incarceration on June 7, 1950. Considered the oldest prisoner in the United States, Smith crime was convicted of the murder of a night watchman during a robbery at a yacht club in July 1949. He was, in fact, sentenced to death. However, just hours before his scheduled execution, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He has served most of it at the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, only to be moved to a nursing home last year, where he will carry out the remainder of his sentence. The length of his sentence has brought into question the purpose of keeping prisoners locked up when they get to a certain age. There are also those who say Smith should have been paroled long ago, as people who have committed the same or worse crimes have already been released. Case in point: Joseph Ligon served 67 years for a murder he committed when he was just 15 year old. He was released in February of this year.