December 17, 2010
Iowa Supreme Court deals with Graham's prohibition of juve LWOP for nonhomicide
A helpful reader altered me to a decision today by the Iowa Supreme Court dealing with a juvenile LWOP sentence that is now clearly unconstitutional in the wake of the Supreme Court's Eighth Amendment ruling in Graham v. Florida. The ruling in Bonilla v. Iowa can be downloaded below, and here is how it starts:
Julio Bonilla was convicted of kidnapping in the first degree in adult court for an offense committed at the age of sixteen. He was sentenced to mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole pursuant to the Iowa Code. Under the recent United States Supreme Court decision Graham v. Florida, ___ U.S. ___, ____, 130 S. Ct. 2011, 2033–34, 176 L. Ed. 2d 825, 848–50 (2010), this sentence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Federal Constitution. The clauses of Iowa Code sections 902.1 and 906.5 (2003) that make Bonilla ineligible for parole are unconstitutional as applied to Bonilla. These clauses are also severable. Therefore, Bonilla‟s sentence must be adjusted to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
December 17, 2010 at 11:59 AM | Permalink
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