from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K.
defendant appeals from the district court's denial of his
petition to modify a restitution order.
Gagne of Gagne Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, Presiding Judge.
he was a juvenile, Drew Weehler-Smith was charged with murder
in the first degree. He ultimately pled guilty to murder in
the second degree, and the court ordered Weehler-Smith to pay
$150, 000 in restitution to the victim's family.
See Iowa Code § 910.3B (2016) ("[T]he
court shall . . . order the offender to pay at least one
hundred fifty thousand dollars in restitution to the
victim's estate."). Weehler-Smith later filed a
petition to modify the restitution order, which the district
appeal, Weehler-Smith maintains the imposition of $150, 000
in restitution is excessive in violation of article I,
section 17 of the Iowa Constitution as applied to him in
these circumstances. Additionally, he claims ordering a
juvenile defendant to pay $150, 000 in restitution violates
the cruel and unusual punishment clause of article I, section
17 of the Iowa Constitution. Finally, he claims the district
court abused its discretion when it failed to consider
imposing a lesser amount of restitution.
Standards of Review.
review an allegedly unconstitutional sentence de novo."
Richardson, 890 N.W.2d at 614.
Iowa Supreme Court has determined that the restitution award
under section 910.3B has "several punitive
elements" and therefore should be considered a
"fine" within the meaning of both the Eighth
Amendment of the Federal Constitution and article I, section
17 of the Iowa Constitution. See id. at 621. We
consider whether the $150, 000 restitution was excessive as
applied to Weehler-Smith in this case.
analysis primarily focuses 'on the amount of the
punishment as it relates to the particular circumstances of
the offense.'" Id. at 625 (quoting
State v. Izzolena, 609 N.W.2d 541, 551 (Iowa 2000)).
"The 'fine' must bear some relationship to the
gravity of the offense it is designed to punish."
Id. at 625-26 (citations omitted). "The issue
is whether 'the restitution [is] grossly ...