An Alton man who was convicted of murder when he was a minor has been resentenced.
Fifty-five-year-old John Mulder was resentenced on Wednesday in Sioux County District Court. Mulder was convicted for the 1976 murder of Jean Homan. He was found guilty by a jury in 1979 and was originally sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole.
The resentencing arose after the United States Supreme Court held that juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment without parole even for homicide offenses.
Governor Branstad had commuted Mulder’s sentence to life with parole after 60 years. In 2013, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the Governor’s blanket commutation did not meet the constitutional requirement that courts conduct an individualized sentencing hearing. In 2015, the law changed relating to the service of mandatory minimum sentences by juveniles convicted of murder.
The court set up three options which include: life without the possibility of parole, life with the possibility of parole after setting a minimum term of confinement before parole eligibility, and life with the possibility of parole.
Mulder was resentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 42 years before he will be eligible for parole or work release. Mulder has 30 days to appeal the sentence.
By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars