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Inside Story ·

The Rise of Life-Without-Parole Sentences

We explore sentences that imprison people for life without parole, and comedian Ali Siddiq unpacks his behind-bars beginning in comedy.

Inside Story digs into how life-without-parole sentences are replacing the death penalty in some states, focusing on Florida’s use of the punishment.

Actor and activist Gbenga Akinnagbe talks with host Lawrence Bartley about playing Chris Partlow in the hit HBO series, “The Wire,” and his work to close New York City’s Rikers Island jail.

We also spend time with comedian Ali Siddiq, whose journey into the world of comedy began while he was serving time in prison.

In his closing message, Bartley talks about a quiet moment he had with a friend who had just been released from prison, underscoring the challenges that come with reentering society.

Reading list:


Cary Aspinwall, Leslie Eaton, Andrew Cohen, Martin Garcia, Savannah Hugueley


The Dallas Morning News, NBC News and NBC 5

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When you donate by December 31, your donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, by Marshall Project board member Abby Pucker. As a special thank-you gift, we'll also send you one of our exclusive Marshall Project tote bags.