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Branstad Denies 7 Applications for Commutation

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad has denied applications from seven Iowa inmates seeking reduction of their sentences.
   Branstad made the announcement Monday. The inmates -- who range in age from 30 to 67 -- are serving sentences for murder, robbery and other crimes.
   One of the rejected applications came from 67-year-old Robert Kern, who is serving a life sentence for a 1979 murder. Kern and his ex-wife were convicted of plotting with another woman to kill her husband.
   Brandstad, who has been governor for 18 years including his time in the office in the 1980s and 1990s, has commuted prison sentences just three times.

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