What Is The Difference Between Concurrent and Consecutive?

@CatsandDogs (13964)
United States
April 12, 2009 9:45pm CST
I love watching crime/forensic types of tv shows because I find it very interesting in how the police and FBI solve different crimes however, when the perpetrator commits a crime and gets jail time say for two or more different crimes that involves a person such as a murder or two people but the same crime meaning at the same time.... gee, am I making sense here? lol Well I would have to say with two people.... I think? Then the perpetrator gets sentenced and it is said that it's to be served consecutively or another would have to serve concurrently, my question is, what is the difference between concurrent and consecutive? I've asked my parents and my husband and no one really knows. I'm going to look the words up in a dictionary and see just what it says just out of curiosity....
4 people like this
7 responses
• United States
13 Apr 09
I knew what it meant but just to be sure I checked: Those imprisoned for multiple crimes, will serve either a consecutive sentence (in which the period of imprisonment equals the sum of all the sentences) or a concurrent sentence (in which the period of imprisonment equals the length of the longest sentence).
2 people like this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
14 Apr 09
I get it now, thanks for explaining!! It makes no sense at all because to send someone to prison for two crimes to run at the same time then where's the justice in that? I guess you could say, there isn't any really because the person is really paying for one crime and getting away with the other but if the person got both sentences consecutively then they'd be paying for both crimes because after finishing the time for one, they'd have to serve for the other. Now that's what I call justice!
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
13 Apr 09
Concurrent means 'at the same time', consecutive means 'one after the other'. So picture a plate of bacon. Each strip stands for say a crime that's been committed. Place the strips beside each other, and you have concurrent 'sentences' for them. Place them one behind the other and you have consecutive 'sentences' for them. So if you commit two crimes say, of a similar nature, your sentences could be assigned for you to serve them concurrently meaning 'one group of years' for both, or you could be assigned to serve them consecutively meaning 'one group of years AFTER another group of years' for the two crimes. Clear as mud now? LOL
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@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
14 Apr 09
LOL yeah, clear as mud is right! lol I say that because it hardly seems fair because to serve concurrent sentences is like getting away with the other crimes and paying for only one. Where's the justice in that? There isn't any, is there? Gee, why go to court over the other crimes if the person isn't going to do hard time for them. Consecutive is the way to go if there's more than one crime. No I don't get it. (scratching my head here)
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (57758)
• United States
13 Apr 09
concurrent means they are serving the times at the same time, if they get 2 75 years sentances, they are up for parole at the time a 75 year sentance is up. Consecutive time means that they don't start serving one until the other one is up.
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@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
14 Apr 09
I understand now and thanks for explaining it! It makes no sense at all because to send someone to prison for two crimes to run at the same time then where's the justice in that? I guess you could say, there isn't any really because the person is really paying for one crime and getting away with the other but if the person got both sentences consecutively then they'd be paying for both crimes because after finishing the time for one, they'd have to serve for the other. Now that's what I call justice!
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (57758)
• United States
14 Apr 09
Oh, and they sometimes off that as a plea bargain if they plead guilty
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
13 Apr 09
When they say "two concurrent life sentences" they mean that both life sentences are running at the same time. When they say "consecutive", that means that one life sentence follows the other. It always seems stupid, to me at least, when people are given concurrent sentences. I mean, what's the purpose? They'll be in prison whether they have one, two or more sentences running concurrently. I sometimes get a chuckle out of those "life plus 90 years" type sentences. What does that mean? Okay, I know what it means, but it SOUNDS like they still have to rot in prison for 90 years after they die. EWWWWW!!!
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
14 Apr 09
LOL That would be one stinky place wouldn't it? I bet it would deter a lot of would be criminals from even considering doing a crime, I would think! Maybe they're buried in the prison yard. lol Just kidding!
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
14 Apr 09
That would be one pretty stinky place, for sure! Then, once they've decomposed to the point of being skeletons, well, all I can say is that if I saw a bunch of skeletons in prison cells, that would make me live by ALL the rules, even driving not even one mile an hour over the posted speed limits! LOL
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25902)
• Canada
19 Apr 09
concurrent is one running after the other and consecutive means they are running at the same time. i hope this helps. i like these crime shows too, especially law and order.
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@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
20 Apr 09
Thank you! I understand now. But yet, it makes no sense because if a person did a number of crimes, be it the same or not and get sentenced to do time for both crimes such as 10 years for one and 5 for another, then the total should be 15 years. Why sentence someone to concurrent times when it's really only one set instead of serving 10 years and then serving another 5. Our judicial system is weird, don't you agree?
1 person likes this
@Polly1 (12652)
• United States
13 Apr 09
I know what it means. I didn't peek at anyone elses answers neither. When someone has to serve their sentence concurrent, they serve them at the same time. Consecutive is when they have to serve one sentence and when that one is done, then they have to serve the next one. I hope that makes sense.
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@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
14 Apr 09
You are right Polly! lol Yes it made sense when you explain it but it doesn't make sense because why bother going to court over more than one crime if the person isn't going to do hard time for them all? It's like the person gets away with everything but the one crime. Plus it's a big waste of tax payer dollars. Then again, not much of our government makes any sense. lol
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@GardenGerty (70522)
• Marion, Kansas
13 Apr 09
If a criminal commits two crimes at the same time, say a murder, as well as another felony, he might be sentenced to a concurrent sentence, because the crimes happened at the same time. Concurrent would be that he would serve the sentences at the same time. On the other hand, if he murders two persons, and say one might be in the commission of a crime, and then, just to top it all off he kills another person, like an innocent bystander, he might get consecutive sentences, that is, one sentence will not start until the other is finished. I am not sure my scenarios were necessary. Concurrent is at the same time, consecutive is one after the other, think of the word sequence.
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
14 Apr 09
Thanks for explaining GG! Yes I do understand but yet it makes no sense at all because to send someone to prison for two crimes to run concurrently which is at the same time then where's the justice in that? I guess you could say, there isn't any really because the person is really paying for one crime and getting away with the other but if the person got both sentences consecutively, one after the other, then they'd be paying for both crimes because after finishing the time for one, they'd have to serve for the other. Now that's what I call justice!
1 person likes this