USA: Politics of punishment: Iowa governor flouts spirit if not letter of US Supreme Court decision on young offenders

By Amnesty International, , Index number: AMR 51/067/2012

On 25 June 2012, the US Supreme Court outlawed mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole against anyone who was under 18 years old at the time of the crime. However the Iowa governor has set an example of how individual US states should not respond to the ruling, in Amnesty International’s view. On 16 July 2012, he commuted 38 life without parole sentences being served in Iowa by inmates convicted of first degree murder committed when they were under 18 to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 60 years.

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