A life sentence in prison varies depending on the crime and whether or not the sentence was life in prison with or without parole. Prisoners sentenced to life without parole may be incarcerated until their deaths.
Criminals sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole may serve only 14 to 30 years depending on the crime they committed. For instance, in Georgia, violent offenders sentenced for murder may be eligible for parole after 30 years. It is ultimately up to the parole board that reviews the case whether or not to release the prisoner sentenced to life on parole.