(Reuters) – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad on Monday said no current inmate convicted of murder as a juvenile would be released before the age of 74*, a move prompted by a Supreme Court ruling that youths cannot receive mandatory life sentences. See 10-9646 Miller v. Alabama (06/25/2012).
Branstad, a Republican, commuted to a minimum of 60 years the life sentences of 38 inmates covered by last month’s ruling because there was a possibility that they could receive new sentences.
*A person must be at least 14 to be tried for murder as an adult in Iowa.
Twenty-nine states including —Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota—have laws calling for mandatory life terms for juvenile murderers. For full list see: Throwing Away the Key: The Expansion of Life Without Parole Sentences in the United States by The Sentencing Project. Opponents of those sentences said the Supreme Court ruling recognized that young people could change and that society could forgive the mistakes of misguided youth.
For full article see: Iowa governor says juvenile murderers to serve at least 60 years | Reuters. (Additional reporting by Kay Henderson; Reporting and Writing by Andrew Stern; Editing by Greg McCune and Paul Simao)
- Branstad commutes life sentences for 38 Iowa juvenile murderers (thegazette.com)
- Iowa Gov uses clemency power to devise (astute? sinister?) response to Miller for juve LWOPers (sentencing.typepad.com)
- At What Age Are Juveniles Old Enough To Face The Full Force (vinhsulaw.wordpress.com)