Iowa Court Rules Life Without Possibility of Parole for Juveniles is Unconstitutional

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Supreme Court has reversed the life sentence of a man convicted of murdering his grandparents when he was a teen and that has implications for other juveniles who have been convicted of first-degree murder.

Isaiah Sweet’s case is being remanded to district court for re-sentencing in the murders of Rick and Janet Sweet.

Sweet was 17-years-old when he shot and killed his grandparents in their Manchester home in 2012. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in October of 2013.

The Iowa Supreme Court released its decision Friday, saying “life without the possibility of parole for a juvenile offender violates article I, section 17 of the Iowa Constitution.” The section refers to cruel and unusual punishment.


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