Cadena temporal and cadena perpetua are punishments notably present in the Philippine legal system. Cadena temporal included imprisonment for at least 12 years and one day, in chains, at hard and painful labor; the loss of many basic civil rights; and subjection to lifetime surveillance. Cadena perpetua is identical except that it is a sentence of life as opposed to a temporary status.The "title" of the punishment is actually descriptive, as cadena is a Spanish word meaning chain and perpetua, means continuous in Latin.
The use of this colonial punishment has been reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349 (1910). Derived from the Spanish penal Code, the punishment of "cadena temporal" was from twelve years and one day to twenty years (arts. 28 and 96), which 'shall be served' in certain 'penal institutions.' And it was provided that 'those sentenced to cadena temporal (and cadena perpetua) shall labor for the benefit of the state.... Read More