In June 2016, star footballer Lionel Messi was given a prison sentence of 21 months due to tax evasion, but fortunately for his fans, his sentence was later suspended. However, criminals around the world have been given much more shocking jail sentences over the years!

The world’s longest prison sentence was unbelievable. A jail term of 141,078 years!

What was it for and when was it declared?

Chamoy Thipyaso – 141,078 years

Being the wife of a senior Thai air force officer, Chamoy Thipyaso had masterminded a scam involving Thai royals. In fact, the fraud involved16,231 victims who were cheated out of a total of about £2 million. Not surprisingly, Thipyaso was handed a jail sentence of 141,078 years. That seems like eternity! Fortunately, a new Thai law was passed in 1989 which allowed only 20 years of maximum imprisonment for fraud. Thipyaso was lucky that happened.

Here’s a list of similar sentences:

Otman el-Gnaoui – 42,924 years

El-Gnaoui hails from Spain, and was awarded a 42,924-year prison sentence due to his involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. However, similar to Thipyaso’s case, Spanish law allows a maximum of 40 years to be served as a jail sentence. Therefore, in reality, el-Gnaoui will spend a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Charles Scott Robinson – 30,000 years

Sentenced in the US, Robinson was a convicted Oklahoma child rapist. He was given 5,000 years’ jail time for each of the six count against him. Additionally, his sentence was such that he couldn’t get parole until he was a minimum of 108 years old. Robinson’s sentence wasn’t cut short by any such laws like in the previous cases. Therefore, the judge accurately described Robinson’s situation. He said, “I think I can assure that you will spend the rest of your natural life in the confines of the Department of Corrections.”

Many people question what use is it to sentence prisoners to such irrationally long prison terms anyway, since the human lifespan is naturally much shorter. It’s possible that such sentences are more of a statement against the gravity of the crime–to make a point that the crime is that serious. Additionally, extremely long jail sentences makes it much tougher for the criminals to be released quickly on parole.

In anycase, these bone-chilling jail sentences are sure to frighten criminals!

Image credit: Bill Strain/flickr