Iowa Aggressively Curtails Lengthy Juvenile Prison Sentences

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa corrections officials say all but three of Iowa’s 46 juveniles sentenced to life in prison without parole have been given new sentences with a chance for freedom.

The Associated Press in a story published Monday found after a 50-state review of juvenile life cases that in many states the chance at resentencing has been inconsistent and sometimes elusive.

Iowa began resentencing juvenile lifers in 2012 after the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that mandatory life without parole for offenders under 18 is unconstitutional and should be rare. The ruling was made retroactive last year.

Iowa is among the most aggressive states in curtailing lengthy prison terms for juveniles due to Iowa Supreme Court rulings. In a June case, the court said even mandatory minimum sentences should be uncommon for juveniles.

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