For Teen Killers, Iowa Bans Life Without Parole

Court says they should have a chance for rehabilitation
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2016 12:03 PM CDT
Isaiah Sweet, then 17, who pleaded guilty to shooting his grandparents in 2012.   (AP Photo/Delaware County Sheriff’s Office)

(Newser) – Life without parole is now off the table for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder in Iowa, reports the AP. In a 4-3 ruling Friday, the state Supreme Court says such sentences equal cruel and unusual punishment because predicting young people's "future prospects for maturation and rehabilitation" is impossible when their brains are still developing, per the Des Moines Register. "The parole board will be better able to discern whether the offender is irreparably corrupt after time has passed." The ruling overturned Isaiah Sweet's sentence of life without parole in the shooting deaths of his grandparents in 2012, when he was 17. (Read more Iowa stories.)

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