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Iowa Supreme Court Throws Out Mandatory Minimum Sentences

 
Posted July 19th, 2014 @ 12:31pm

The Iowa Supreme Court has found mandatory minimum sentences imposed on juvenile offenders are unconstitutional.

The high court has issued rulings in two cases, one out of Polk County and one from Linn County.

In each, juvenile offenders were sentenced to prison with requirements for mandatory minimum length of their sentences before they could be eligible for parole.

The Iowa Court of Appeals upheld the lower court sentences.

But the Iowa Supreme Court in a divided ruling said mandatory minimum sentences were a violation of the state constitution and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

It ordered a resentencing in both cases.

State official say the ruling will mean more than 100 juveniles who were sentenced under similar terms will have to be resentenced and some of those people were convicted of sexual abuse, kidnapping, robbery and murder.

Three of the justices, Waterman, Zager and Mansfield, dissented arguing that mandatory minimum sentences in the two cases at hand were not cruel and unusual because the mandatory minimum would have amount to less than 15 years in prison

 

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