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Iowa does not give juvenile offenders sent to life in prison a realistic chance at parole, ACLU argues in Supreme Court fight

Wednesday 10th of April 2019 | North America, United States
desmoinesregister
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The case of Julio Bonilla, who was 16 when he carried out a kidnapping that landed him in prison for life, presents "substantial constitutional questions" about the board's process when deciding whether to parole juvenile offenders, the ACLU argues.

"He has been incarcerated for nearly half of his life," ACLU attorney Rita Bettis Austen told the justices of Bonilla, now 33. "His parole reviews have not even met basic elements of due process."

But John Lundquist, an assistant attorney general, said the board's existing procedures provide those inmates a meaningful opportunity for parole. He said 11 of the 43 parole-eligible juveniles sentenced for Class A felonies — charges that, for adults, would mean mandatory life in prison without the possibility for parole — have been paroled.

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  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

    All rights reserved

  • Head Office: Rue Mercelis, nº 50. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org

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