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Teen Murderer No Chance at Parole

MANCHESTER, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Isaiah Sweet will spend the rest of his life in prison without the chance of parole.

A judge in Manchester handed down that sentence just before 2pm today. Sweet killed his grandparents Richard and Janet sweet back in May of 2012. He was arrested in Cedar Rapids a few days later.

It should be an uncommon if not rare case where a juvenile is committed to live in prison without parole, Judge Michael Shubatt told the courtroom on Tuesday. But if this is not such a case, its frightening to imagine what might classify as such.

Shubatt didnt mince his words as he laid down the sentence.

He planned the crimes and he acted with cruel deliberation and an utter lack of humanity.

A previous Supreme Court ruling in the 2012 case Miller vs. Alabama said sentencing juveniles to life in prison without parole was unconstitutional. However, sentencing courts arent held strictly to that standard. Shubatt says the judge can use certain factors to make his own determination on a case by case basis. Those factors include things like the home environment or the circumstances of the crime.

The judge factored those into his decision and ultimately ruled in favor of "community safety and the interest of justice."

The defendant may be young, but that has not stopped him from showing the world who he is, Shubatt says. He is extremely dangerous.

Family members of Richard and Janet Sweet, including Janet's daughter Angie Camlin, sat tearfully in the front row as the sentence was read aloud.

The doctor from sentencing says he was a psychopath, and to this day has no empathy, Camlin says. This cannot be healed by medicine, and you cannot teach a person how to feel.

Camlin says despite the precedent set by the Supreme Court case, she couldn't see this ending any other way.

I couldn't wrap my mind around anything else other than no parole, Camlin said. I couldn't accept anything other than this.

Sweet's legal team has 30 days to appeal the sentence. Theres no indication yet as to whether or not they plan on doing so.




MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) -- A judge says an Iowa teenager who pleaded guilty to killing his grandparents should never get another chance at freedom.
   District Judge Michael Shubatt said Tuesday that Isaiah Sweet will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole in the May 2012 shooting deaths of Janet and Richard Sweet at their home in Manchester.
   Sweet pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his legal guardians.
   Those charges normally carry automatic prison sentences of life without parole. But because Sweet was 17, he may qualify for a lesser sentence under rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Iowa Supreme Court that require judges to consider whether juvenile offenders can be rehabilitated.
   Shubatt says Sweet is "extremely dangerous" and unlikely to be rehabilitated.

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