Originally Posted by EricS39
In the US?
Not sure how many cases there are of this.
In Europe it's a termed sentence I think 15-30 years incarceration....Norway the max sentence is 21 years
It varies widely.
Most murder cases are prosecuted by states, which each have their own guidelines. For example, a glance at this list shows that some states mandate life without parole as minimum sentence (Delaware, Florida, others) for first degree murder. In some states the minimum is as low as 10 years (Arkansas, Missouri, others) for first degree murder. In some states, the minimum for second degree murder is less than 10 years (in both Colorado and Virginia it is 5 years, for example).
It also varies with circumstances. Some people don't like to acknowledge this, but non-whites get harsher sentences than whites. And women get the death penalty far less of than men, per similar crime. Notorious cases receiving lots of press mean the individual will likely get a harsher sentence than a case which doesn't arouse much public interest.
Then there's plea deals - if a person has something to offer then can often parlay that into a reduced charge.
The situation is similar in Europe. Countries, not the EU (and all of Europe is not in the EU, anyway) handle criminal prosecutions for murder. Belarus, for example, continues to carry out the death penalty - the only country in Europe to do so. Russia allows for it, but an indefinite moratorium has been in place there since 1996 (though extrajudicial state killings do occur). Other countries offer life with the possibility of parole, but in many cases a particular individual will never be paroled.
As an aside, "killing someone" is not very specific. This runs the gamut from justifiable homicide (not a crime at all), or an accident (for example, if you kill someone by accident while hunting you may face a fine and other sanctions short of jail time) to manslaughter to capital murder. It's as much about the intent as the result.