from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Steven J.
Mulder appeals the order resentencing him for a crime he
committed as a juvenile. AFFIRMED.
R. Weber, Orange City, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Mulder was fourteen years old when he shot and killed Jean
Homan while she was asleep in her bedroom. A jury convicted
him of first-degree murder, and he was sentenced to life in
prison without the possibility of parole. Three decades
later, Governor Brandstad commuted the sentences of juvenile
offenders to life in prison with parole eligibility after
sixty years. Mulder moved for resentencing, and after holding
an individualized sentencing hearing, the district court
imposed a sentence of life in prison with parole eligibility
in forty-two years.
appeal, Mulder contends the requirement that he serve
forty-two years of his sentence before parole eligibility
violates the Iowa Constitution because it "is the
equivalent of a life sentence with no parole [and] no
meaningful or realistic opportunity for release." He
makes the blanket argument that any minimum period of
incarceration violates the Iowa Constitution's
prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Our supreme
court recently rejected this claim in State v. Roby,
N.W.2d,, 2017 WL 2610616, at *10 (Iowa 2017), holding the
Iowa Constitution does not prohibit imposing mandatory
minimum terms of incarceration on juveniles. We likewise
reject Mulder's claim.
also contends the district court's sentence is illegal
because the court failed to consider and weigh the mitigating
factors set forth in State v. Lyle, 854 N.W.2d 378,
404 n.10 (Iowa 2014). These factors include:
(1) the age of the offender and the features of youthful
behavior, such as "immaturity, impetuosity, and failure
to appreciate risks and consequences"; (2) the
particular "family and home environment" that
surround the youth; (3) the circumstances of the particular
crime and all circumstances relating to youth that may have
played a role in the commission of the crime; (4) the
challenges for youthful offenders in navigating through the
criminal process; and (5) the possibility of rehabilitation
and the capacity for change.
Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 404 n.10 (citations omitted).
resentencing Mulder, the district court noted it was required
to give specific consideration to several factors because of
Mulder's status as a juvenile offender:
The first factor is the prior pronouncement that sentencing a
juvenile to life in prison without the possibility of parole
should be rare and uncommon.
Second, the court must recognize that "children are
constitutionally different from adults." This is a
consideration of a juvenile's lack of maturity,
underdeveloped sense of responsibility, vulnerability to peer
pressure, and the less fixed nature of a juvenile's