The Iowa Supreme Court has banned life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of first degree murder.
The court ruled 4-3 Friday that those sentences amount to cruel and unusual punishment under the state constitution. The ruling comes in the case of Isaiah Sweet, who was 17 when he murdered his custodial grandparents in Manchester in 2012. A judge sentenced Sweet to life without parole, saying he was a cold blooded killer who had little chance of rehabilitation. The Supreme Court overturned the sentence, saying even the worst juvenile offenders should have the chance of someday proving to the parole board that they are fit for release.