In August of 2006 the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in the case of Heemstra vs. The State of Iowa that the Felony Murder Rule could only be used if a felony was committed independently of the murder. In the Heemstra case he was charged with a felony for pointing a gun at the victim before shooting and killing him. Since this was not a separate felony independent of the murder Heemstra’s first degree murder conviction was thrown out.
The court later ruled that this would not be retroactive. Meaning that people who have in the past been convicted of first degree murder using the felony murder rule even though the felony was not independent of the murder would not be able to appeal there cases. This means that two people charged with the same crime will and have received completely different sentences. How is it legal to treat two people convicted of the same crime differently? How can this be considered justice?
The Iowa Justice Project is a non profit organization dedicated to seeing the injustice reversed and that all people are treated equally for the crimes that they commit.