The teenager who was convicted in the fatal shootings of two convenience store clerks in northern Iowa three years ago today will face a new sentencing hearing. Michael Swanson of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, was 17 when he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The Iowa Supreme Court made a decision in August that Swanson’s sentence, and all others involving underage criminal convictions, was invalid, saying teens should not face mandatory life sentences. Governor Terry Branstad commuted the life sentences of 38 Iowa inmates convicted as juveniles, including Swanson, to terms of 60 years in prison before they could be eligible for parole.
The Iowa court ruling followed a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last year that threw out automatic life sentences for juveniles. On November 15, 2010, Swanson shot and killed convenience store clerks in Algona and Humboldt. He was then apprehended in Webster City.
The hearing for Swanson is set for July 15, 2014.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)