The State filed a motion to dismiss, pointing out that the only sanction imposed had been fifteen days of disciplinary detention and Ruesga had not lost any “earned time.” The State asserted that the sanction thus involved no substantial deprivation of a liberty or property interest and that under such circumstances Ruesga’s application did not state a claim cognizable in an action for postconviction relief.
On July 5, 2012, Ruesga filed a response to the State’s motion. He alleged he was serving a life sentence and argued that his having been found to have violated an institutional rule would “impact my application for commutation.” Ruesga cited the June 25, 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama , 567 U.S. ___, ___, 132 S. Ct. 2455, 2464, 183 L. Ed. 2d 407, 424 (2012), for the proposition that mandatory life imprisonment without parole for persons who were under the age of eighteen at the time of their crimes constituted unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment. He asserted he had been incarcerated for twenty years, and had not had but was entitled to “a hearing to consider mitigating circumstances” concerning his “possibility of rehabilitation versus life imprisonment” and a possible commutation of his sentence. Ruesga argued that the erroneous finding he had violated an institutional rule would have an impact at such a hearing. Although Ruesga does not expressly so state, we read these statements in his response as an assertion that he was sentenced to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without possibility of parole for a crime committed while he was under eighteen years of age.
Judge(s): John Miller
Jurisdiction: Iowa Court of Appeals
Related Categories: Criminal Justice
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Court of Appeals Judge(s)|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|Jose Ruesgo||Pro se|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|
|Forrest Guddall||Office of the Iowa Attorney General|
|Thomas Miller||Office of the Iowa Attorney General|