1. Upon a plea of guilty, a verdict of guilty, or a special verdict upon which a judgment of conviction of a class “A” felony may be rendered, the court shall enter a judgment of conviction and shall commit the defendant into the custody of the director of the Iowa department of corrections for the rest of the defendant’s life. Nothing in the Iowa corrections code pertaining to deferred judgment, deferred sentence, suspended sentence, or reconsideration of sentence applies to a class “A” felony, and a person convicted of a class “A” felony shall not be released on parole unless the governor commutes the sentence to a term of years.

Terms Used In Iowa Code 902.1

  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • following: when used by way of reference to a chapter or other part of a statute mean the next preceding or next following chapter or other part. See Iowa Code 4.1
  • person: means individual, corporation, limited liability company, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, or any other legal entity. See Iowa Code 4.1
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words "United States" may include the said district and territories. See Iowa Code 4.1
  • Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
  • Victim Impact Statement: A written or spoken statement by the victim or his or her representative about the physical, emotional, and financial impact of a crime on the victim. The statement is given to the court before sentencing.
 2. a. Notwithstanding subsection 1, a defendant convicted of murder in the first degree in violation of section 707.2, and who was under the age of eighteen at the time the offense was committed shall receive one of the following sentences:

 (1) Commitment to the director of the department of corrections for the rest of the defendant’s life with no possibility of parole unless the governor commutes the sentence to a term of years.
 (2) Commitment to the custody of the director of the department of corrections for the rest of the defendant’s life with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum term of confinement as determined by the court.
 (3) Commitment to the custody of the director of the department of corrections for the rest of the defendant’s life with the possibility of parole.
 b. (1) The prosecuting attorney shall provide reasonable notice to the defendant, after conviction and prior to sentencing, of the state‘s intention to seek a life sentence with no possibility of parole under paragraph “a”, subparagraph (1).

 (2) In determining which sentence to impose, the court shall consider all circumstances including but not limited to the following:

 (a) The impact of the offense on each victim, as defined in section 915.10, through the use of a victim impact statement, as defined in section 915.10, under any format permitted by section 915.13. The victim impact statement may include comment on the sentence of the defendant.
 (b) The impact of the offense on the community.
 (c) The threat to the safety of the public or any individual posed by the defendant.
 (d) The degree of participation in the murder by the defendant.
 (e) The nature of the offense.
 (f) The defendant’s remorse.
 (g) The defendant’s acceptance of responsibility.
 (h) The severity of the offense, including any of the following:

 (i) The commission of the murder while participating in another felony.
 (ii) The number of victims.
 (iii) The heinous, brutal, cruel manner of the murder, including whether the murder was the result of torture.
 (i) The capacity of the defendant to appreciate the criminality of the conduct.
 (j) Whether the ability to conform the defendant’s conduct with the requirements of the law was substantially impaired.
 (k) The level of maturity of the defendant.
 (l) The intellectual and mental capacity of the defendant.
 (m) The nature and extent of any prior juvenile delinquency or criminal history of the defendant, including the success or failure of previous attempts at rehabilitation.
 (n) The mental health history of the defendant.
 (o) The level of compulsion, duress, or influence exerted upon the defendant, but not to such an extent as to constitute a defense.
 (p) The likelihood of the commission of further offenses by the defendant.
 (q) The chronological age of the defendant and the features of youth, including immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate risks and consequences.
 (r) The family and home environment that surrounded the defendant.
 (s) The circumstances of the murder including the extent of the defendant’s participation in the conduct and the way familial and peer pressure may have affected the defendant.
 (t) The competencies associated with youth, including but not limited to the defendant’s inability to deal with peace officers or the prosecution or the defendant’s incapacity to assist the defendant’s attorney in the defendant’s defense.
 (u) The possibility of rehabilitation.
 (v) Any other information considered relevant by the sentencing court.
 3. a. Notwithstanding subsections 1 and 2, a defendant convicted of a class “A” felony, other than murder in the first degree in violation of section 707.2, and who was under the age of eighteen at the time the offense was committed shall receive one of the following sentences:

 (1) Commitment to the custody of the director of the department of corrections for the rest of the defendant’s life with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum term of confinement as determined by the court.
 (2) Commitment to the custody of the director of the department of corrections for the rest of the defendant’s life with the possibility of parole.
 b. In determining which sentence to impose, the court shall consider all circumstances including but not limited to the following:

 (1) The impact of the offense on each victim, as defined in section 915.10, through the use of a victim impact statement, as defined in section 915.10, under any format permitted by section 915.13. The victim impact statement may include comment on the sentence of the defendant.
 (2) The impact of the offense on the community.
 (3) The threat to the safety of the public or any individual posed by the defendant.
 (4) The degree of participation in the offense by the defendant.
 (5) The nature of the offense.
 (6) The defendant’s remorse.
 (7) The defendant’s acceptance of responsibility.
 (8) The severity of the offense, including any of the following:

 (a) The commission of the offense while participating in another felony.
 (b) The number of victims.
 (c) The heinous, brutal, cruel manner of the offense, including whether the offense involved torture.
 (9) The capacity of the defendant to appreciate the criminality of the conduct.
 (10) Whether the ability to conform the defendant’s conduct with the requirements of the law was substantially impaired.
 (11) The level of maturity of the defendant.
 (12) The intellectual and mental capacity of the defendant.
 (13) The nature and extent of any prior juvenile delinquency or criminal history of the defendant, including the success or failure of previous attempts at rehabilitation.
 (14) The mental health history of the defendant.
 (15) The level of compulsion, duress, or influence exerted upon the defendant, but not to such an extent as to constitute a defense.
 (16) The likelihood of the commission of further offenses by the defendant.
 (17) The chronological age of the defendant and the features of youth, including immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate risks and consequences.
 (18) The family and home environment that surrounded the defendant.
 (19) The circumstances of the offense including the extent of the defendant’s participation in the conduct and the way the familial and peer pressure may have affected the defendant.
 (20) The competencies associated with youth, including but not limited to the defendant’s inability to deal with peace officers or the prosecution or the defendant’s incapacity to assist the defendant’s attorney in the defendant’s defense.
 (21) The possibility of rehabilitation.
 (22) Any other information considered relevant by the sentencing court.
 4. If a defendant is paroled pursuant to subsection 2 or 3, the defendant shall be subject to the same set of procedures set out in chapters 901B, 905, 906, and 908, and rules adopted under those chapters for persons on parole.