PRISON SENTENCE: Man Who Killed Two Iowans Will Be Re-Sentenced

A Minnesota teen sentenced to life in prison without parole for two murders will be re-sentenced.

Michael Swanson was 17-years-old when he drove to Iowa and killed two gas station clerks.

Sheila Myers was getting ready to end her shift on Nov. 15, 2010 when Swanson shot and killed her.  Sheila’s daughter said she misses her mom every day.

“He has no idea who she was and who he took from us.  I don’t know if he ever will,” said daughter Mandy Myers.

A judge sentenced Swanson to life without the possibility of parole back in 2011 but one year later, a Supreme Court decision made that sentence invalid. The country’s highest court ruled sentencing a teen to life without the possibility of parole was unjust and violated the eighth amendment, as cruel and unusual punishment.

The court’s decision was based on the possibility that a person can change based on age, according to Drake University Professor Jerry Foxhoven.

“Because our mind is growing and changing, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Iowa courts have said, first of all, kids are not as culpable as adults because they are still maturing and changing,” Foxhoven said.

“Secondly, kids are more apt to be able to change,” he said.

The re-sentencing hearing for Swanson was scheduled for next July.  A judge will then decide when Swanson will be able to have a parole hearing.



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