Frequently Asked Questions
Commutation of a Life Sentence
A person who has been sentenced to life imprisonment may, no more frequently than once every ten years, make an application to the Governor requesting that the person’s sentence be commuted to a term of years. See Iowa Code § 902.2.
A person who has been sentenced to a mandatory minimum, for whom the board has not previously issued a recommendation, may apply for commutation of the mandatory sentence. Iowa Code Section 914.3
A commutation by the Governor commutes or reduces the sentence by any number of years, months, or days, or makes the individual eligible for parole.
In some circumstances, yes, an individual may be released from prison after being granted a commutation of sentence. Each situation depends on the commutation granted by the Governor.
Upon receipt of a request for commutation, the Iowa Board of Parole shall complete an investigation and submit their report and recommendation to the Governor.
The Board shall conduct an interview of a class "A" felon. Iowa Code Section 902.2
Individuals are only eligible to apply for a pardon ten years after they discharge their sentence. Individuals who are currently incarcerated with a mandatory minimum or a life sentence may apply for a commutation of sentence.