Monday, July 16, 2012

Iowa: 38 Commutations of Sentence!

The Courier reports Gov. Terry Branstad has "commuted the life sentences of 38 juveniles [giving] them mandatory 60-year prison terms instead." The decision is said to be in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court recent ruling (Miller v. Alabama) which held "states could not mandate life sentences without the possibility of parole for juveniles found guilty of first-degree murder." The ruling also "raised the possibility that anyone sentenced to life without parole before they were 18 would petition the court for a new trial." The governor's commutations, on the other hand, appear to have "taken that option off the table."

In a statement the Governor said:
"During this process, the victims are all too often forgotten by our justice system, and are forced to re-live the pain of the tragedies ... These victims have had their loved ones violently taken away from them. I take this action today to protect these victims, their loved ones' memories, and to protect the safety of all Iowans." 
See full story here.

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