State of Iowa v. Rene Zarate ( 2018 )


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  •                  IN THE SUPREME COURT OF IOWA
                                      No. 15–2203
    
                               Filed March 9, 2018
    
    
    STATE OF IOWA,
    
          Appellee,
    
    vs.
    
    RENE ZARATE,
    
          Appellant.
    
    
    
          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County,
    
    David A. Lester, Judge.
    
    
    
          Defendant, a juvenile offender, challenges his sentence of life
    
    imprisonment with the possibility of parole after a minimum term of
    
    twenty-five years as cruel and unusual punishment under the Iowa and
    
    Federal Constitutions. DISTRICT COURT SENTENCE VACATED AND
    
    CASE REMANDED.
    
    
    
          Alexander Smith and Benjamin Bergmann of Parrish Kruidenier
    
    Dunn Boles Gribble Gentry Brown & Bergmann L.L.P., Des Moines, for
    
    appellant.
    
    
    
          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
    
    Attorney General, for appellee.
    
    
    
          Joseph Fraioli and Rita Bettis of ACLU of Iowa, Des Moines, for
    
    amicus curiae.
                                         2
    
    ZAGER, Justice.
    
          The defendant, convicted of first-degree murder as a juvenile
    
    offender, challenges his sentence of life in prison with the possibility of
    
    parole after serving a minimum term of twenty-five-years confinement as
    
    determined by the district court. By means of a motion to correct an
    
    illegal sentence, the defendant challenges the sentencing scheme for
    
    juvenile offenders convicted of first-degree murder set forth in Iowa Code
    
    section 902.1(2) under the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the
    
    Iowa Constitution. He argues that both the sentencing options and the
    
    factors that the sentencing court is required to consider under Iowa Code
    
    section 902.1(2) are unconstitutional given the language of the Iowa
    
    Constitution and prior federal and state precedent regarding juvenile
    
    sentencing. Alternatively, he claims that Iowa Code section 902.1(2) is
    
    unconstitutional as applied to his resentencing because the district court
    
    allowed the circumstances of his offense to overwhelm the analysis in its
    
    resentencing decision. For the reasons set forth below, we find that the
    
    only portion of Iowa Code section 902.1(2) that is unconstitutional under
    
    the Iowa Constitution is section 902.1(2)(a)(1), which provides the district
    
    court with the option to sentence a juvenile offender convicted of murder
    
    in the first degree to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
    
    The remainder of Iowa Code section 902.1(2) is constitutional under the
    
    Iowa Constitution. However, we vacate Zarate’s sentence and remand for
    
    resentencing consistent with this opinion and our opinion in State v.
    
    Roby, 
    897 N.W.2d 127
     (Iowa 2017), which was decided subsequent to
    
    Zarate’s resentencing.
    
          I. Facts and Procedural Background.
    
          Rene Zarate moved with his family from Mexico to Iowa when he
    
    was about twelve years old. Zarate did not speak English and had below
                                         3
    
    average intellectual abilities.   He struggled with behavioral issues in
    
    school after moving to Iowa, and he began to associate with members of
    
    a criminal street gang known as Surano 13.            Zarate also started
    
    consuming      alcohol    and     using    drugs,    including    cocaine,
    
    methamphetamine, marijuana, and glue. He had frequent contact with
    
    law enforcement and first entered the juvenile justice system when he
    
    was about fourteen years old.      As a teenager, Zarate was involved in
    
    various criminal acts including burglary, theft, and criminal mischief.
    
    Consequently, he spent time in juvenile detention and on house arrest.
    
    Zarate also failed to successfully complete his required probation.
    
          On the evening of May 1, 1999, fifteen-year old Zarate and some
    
    friends were drinking alcohol together in violation of Zarate’s probation
    
    conditions in a mobile home where Jorge Ramos rented a room. When
    
    Ramos arrived home in the early morning hours of May 2, he began to
    
    argue with one of Zarate’s friends after Ramos refused the friend’s
    
    request for Ramos to drink with them.      Ramos subsequently took the
    
    phone from the living room and went to his bedroom. After Ramos took
    
    the phone, Zarate became worried that Ramos was going to call the
    
    police on him and his friends, which could negatively affect his
    
    probation. Zarate became upset and made multiple attempts to attack
    
    Ramos. First, Zarate tried to attack Ramos with a screwdriver. However,
    
    a friend was able to take the screwdriver away.      Next, Zarate tried to
    
    attack Ramos with a hatchet, but a friend was also able to take the
    
    hatchet away. Finally, Zarate went to a bedroom, removed a fishing knife
    
    he found from a tackle box, and stabbed Ramos with the knife. Ramos
    
    managed to stumble into the living room before he fell on a mattress on
    
    the floor. At this point, Zarate’s friends fled the mobile home. Zarate
                                           4
    
    followed Ramos to the living room and proceeded to stab Ramos a total of
    
    fifty times, resulting in his death.
    
          After killing Ramos, Zarate kicked and spat on Ramos’s body,
    
    laughing and calling Ramos names in Spanish. He then moved the body
    
    outside and covered it with blankets before attempting to get lighter fluid
    
    or gasoline from friends to burn the blankets and the body. When police
    
    officers arrived on the scene, Zarate initially lied to the police about his
    
    identity and provided them with false information before the police
    
    arrested him.    After questioning, Zarate later confessed to murdering
    
    Ramos. On February 8, 2001, a jury convicted Zarate of murder in the
    
    first degree, a class “A” felony, in violation of Iowa Code section 707.2
    
    (1999).     Zarate   was   subsequently        sentenced   to   mandatory   life
    
    imprisonment without the possibility of parole pursuant to Iowa Code
    
    section 902.1(2).
    
          In 2012, the United States Supreme Court decided Miller v.
    
    Alabama, 
    567 U.S. 460
    , 479, 
    132 S. Ct. 2455
    , 2469 (2012), in which it
    
    held a sentencing scheme providing for mandatory life imprisonment
    
    without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders violates the Eighth
    
    Amendment’s      prohibition    on     cruel    and   unusual     punishment.
    
    Additionally, the Court held that a sentencing court must make
    
    individualized sentencing decisions that consider the juvenile offender’s
    
    age and age-related characteristics before imposing “the harshest
    
    possible penalty for juveniles” of a life sentence without the possibility of
    
    parole. Id. at 489, 132 S. Ct. at 2475.
    
          Following Miller, the Governor commuted the sentences of Zarate
    
    and all other juvenile offenders in Iowa serving mandatory sentences of
    
    life without parole to sentences of sixty years without parole and with no
    
    credit for earned time. See State v. Ragland, 
    836 N.W.2d 107
    , 110–11
                                           5
    
    (Iowa 2013).       Consequently, Zarate filed a Motion to Correct Illegal
    
    Sentence. After Zarate filed that motion, we decided Ragland in which
    
    we found that Miller applied retroactively and held that the Governor’s
    
    commutations were de facto sentences of life without the possibility of
    
    parole that required the same individualized sentencing set forth in
    
    Miller.      Id. at 119, 122.     Therefore, juvenile offenders serving life
    
    sentences without parole were entitled to a resentencing hearing.         Id.
    
    Zarate then filed a Supplemental Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence on
    
    March 7, 2014.
    
              Prior to Zarate’s resentencing hearing, the Iowa legislature passed
    
    a bill that the Governor signed into law changing Iowa Code section
    
    902.1(2) under which Zarate was originally sentenced. See 2015 Iowa
    
    Acts ch. 15, § 1 (codified at Iowa Code § 902.1(2) (effective Apr. 24,
    
    2015)).      Under the revised law, a sentencing court has the option to
    
    sentence a juvenile offender convicted of first-degree murder to life
    
    imprisonment without the possibility of parole, life imprisonment with
    
    the possibility of parole after serving a minimum term of confinement as
    
    determined by the court, or life imprisonment with the immediate
    
    possibility of parole. Iowa Code § 902.1(2)(a)(1)–(3) (2016). Moreover, the
    
    law sets forth twenty-five sentencing factors for sentencing courts to
    
    consider in determining which of the aforementioned sentencing options
    
    to impose. See id. § 902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v).
    
              On June 3, 2015, the district court conducted a hearing
    
    concerning Zarate’s supplemental motion to correct his illegal sentence
    
    and request for a resentencing hearing. At the hearing, Zarate argued
    
    that Iowa Code section 902.1(2) violates the Iowa Constitution’s
    
    prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment under article I,
    
    section 17 because it takes away the district court’s discretion to
                                           6
    
    determine sentences for juvenile offenders as required by Miller and
    
    Ragland.     He also argued that the statute denies him a meaningful
    
    opportunity for release, even with the parole options, due to the existing
    
    statutes governing Iowa’s parole system. In response, the State asserted
    
    the district court is required to follow Iowa Code section 902.1(2) in
    
    sentencing    Zarate      because   that   statute   provides   Zarate   with
    
    individualized sentencing by virtue of the factors listed in Iowa Code
    
    section 902.1(2)(b)(2).
    
          On December 9, the district court ruled that Iowa Code section
    
    902.1(2) did not violate the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the
    
    Iowa Constitution.     In doing so, the district court noted that neither
    
    Miller nor our holding in State v. Lyle, 
    854 N.W.2d 378
     (Iowa 2014),
    
    prohibits sentencing juveniles to prison for the length of time the
    
    legislature sets forth for the crime, nor does either prohibit a legislatively
    
    imposed minimum time that juvenile offenders must serve in prison
    
    before becoming parole eligible.
    
          Instead, the district court found that the precedent set forth in
    
    Miller, and our progeny of Miller cases, merely require a sentencing judge
    
    to follow an individualized process that allows for the consideration of
    
    mitigating circumstances related to the juvenile offender’s age and
    
    youthful characteristics.     The district court held Iowa Code section
    
    902.1(2) complies with the individualized sentencing requirement by
    
    providing the sentencing court with options concerning the conditions
    
    placed on a term of life in prison for juvenile offenders convicted of first-
    
    degree murder.     Further, the district court found Iowa Code section
    
    902.1(2) provides the mandated individualized sentencing by requiring
    
    the sentencing court to consider the twenty-five factors listed in Iowa
    
    Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v)—many of which, according to the
                                               7
    
    district court, seemingly have either been taken directly from Miller or fall
    
    within the parameters of Miller. Likewise, the district court found the
    
    inclusion of possible aggravating factors in the law is permissible so long
    
    as the sentencing court also considers the required mitigating factors.
    
    Consequently, the district court held Iowa Code section 902.1(2) is
    
    constitutional on its face and is in accord with both Miller and Ragland.
    
           Zarate’s resentencing hearing was held on December 18. Zarate
    
    requested a term-of-years sentence of thirty years with parole eligibility
    
    after a period of fifteen years despite acknowledging that this sentence
    
    would violate Iowa Code section 902.1(2). Meanwhile, the State asserted
    
    its belief that life without parole was still justifiable, 1 though it
    
    acknowledged that the district court could choose life with the possibility
    
    of parole. The State also asked the district court to impose a mandatory
    
    minimum term of imprisonment before allowing for parole eligibility. In
    
    imposing Zarate’s sentence, the district court stated, “[Zarate’s] request
    
    for a fixed period of 30 years with a minimum of 15 years I still believe is
    
    unconstitutional.      I don’t have the authority to do that” based on the
    
    sentencing options provided in section 902.1(2). The district court also
    
    found life without the possibility of parole would be an inappropriate
    sentence in Zarate’s case.
    
           The district court ultimately decided to resentence Zarate under
    
    Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(a)(2) to life imprisonment with the possibility
    
    of parole after a minimum term of imprisonment of twenty-five years with
    
    credit for time already served under his previously imposed illegal
    
    
           1At  the time of Zarate’s resentencing, life without the possibility of parole was
    still a constitutional sentencing option. However, we have since found life without the
    possibility of parole for juvenile offenders is unconstitutional. See State v. Sweet, 
    879 N.W.2d 811
    , 839 (Iowa 2016).
                                          8
    
    sentence.   In reaching this decision, the district court stated, “I have
    
    taken into consideration the 25 factors I’m now supposed to consider
    
    under the existing statute, and the circumstances, I guess is the
    
    terminology they now use.” While the district court did not individually
    
    go through each factor, it did make statements about various
    
    circumstances that guided its decision.      Specifically, the district court
    
    noted Zarate’s age and involvement in the crime, the fact that Zarate did
    
    not seem to be a threat to the public or any other individual beyond his
    
    victim, Zarate’s degree of participation in the crime, Zarate’s intellectual
    
    and emotional capacity, his susceptibility to peer pressure, the violent
    
    aspect of the crime, his drug and alcohol abuse, and his acceptance of
    
    responsibility for the crime.
    
          Finally, the district court stated,
    
          After considering all those foregoing factors, which I am for
          the record considering as mitigating factors just so we’re all
          clear, after considering those factors along with your
          improved behavior since you’ve been in prison during the
          last 10 years . . . lead me to conclude that you are entitled
          not only to have an opportunity at parole, but also that
          opportunity should be available to you at a fixed point in
          time in the future. I’ve chosen that point of time to be
          approximately 10 years from now just to ensure that you
          serve what I believe should be the minimum period of time
          for somebody that takes the life of another individual,
          whether that person is a juvenile or an adult.
    
    Zarate appealed, and we retained the appeal.
    
          On appeal, Zarate presents three issues. First, whether Iowa Code
    
    section 902.1(2)(a)(1)–(3) violates article I, section 17 of the Iowa
    
    Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Second,
    
    whether the sentencing factors enumerated in Iowa Code section
    
    902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v) violate article I, section 17 of the Iowa Constitution.
    
    Finally, if neither of these provisions is unconstitutional, whether
                                         9
    
    Zarate’s resentencing was unconstitutional based on his claim that the
    
    district court allowed the circumstances of the crime to overwhelm the
    
    analysis, thereby preventing him from receiving a truly individualized
    
    sentence as is constitutionally required.
    
          II. Standard of Review.
    
          We may review a challenge that a sentence is illegal at any time.
    
    Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 382; see also Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.24(5)(a). While we
    
    generally review challenges to illegal sentences for correction of errors at
    
    law, we apply de novo review for an allegation of an unconstitutional
    
    sentence.   State v. Seats, 
    865 N.W.2d 545
    , 553 (Iowa 2015).       Zarate’s
    
    first two challenges are categorical, so we apply de novo review. Finally,
    
    we review sentences that are within the statutory limits for an abuse of
    
    discretion, though this standard “is not forgiving of a deficiency in the
    
    constitutional right to a reasoned sentencing decision based on a proper
    
    hearing.” Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 138.
    
          III. Analysis.
    
          A. State and Federal Jurisprudence on Cruel and Unusual
    
    Punishment Regarding Juvenile Sentencing. The Eighth Amendment
    
    of the United States Constitution and article I, section 17 of the Iowa
    
    Constitution both prohibit cruel and unusual punishment. U.S. Const.
    
    amend. VIII; Iowa Const. art. I, § 17. Under both provisions, the right to
    
    be free from cruel and unusual punishment “ ‘flows from the basic
    
    “precept of justice that punishment for crime should be graduated and
    
    proportioned” ’ to both the offender and the offense.” Miller, 567 U.S. at
    
    469, 132 S. Ct. at 2463 (quoting Roper v. Simmons, 
    543 U.S. 551
    , 560,
    
    
    125 S. Ct. 1183
    , 1190 (2005)); State v. Propps, 
    897 N.W.2d 91
    , 98 (Iowa
    
    2017). Over the past fifteen years, the United States Supreme Court has
    
    decided a trilogy of cases interpreting the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and
                                            10
    
    Unusual Punishment Clause in relation to juvenile sentencing.                   See
    
    Miller, 
    567 U.S. 460
    , 
    132 S. Ct. 2455
    ; Graham v. Florida, 
    560 U.S. 48
    ,
    
    
    130 S. Ct. 2011
     (2010); Roper, 
    543 U.S. 551
    , 
    125 S. Ct. 1183
    .
    
    Additionally, we have decided a number of recent cases in line with the
    
    Supreme Court’s jurisprudence under the Iowa Constitution dealing with
    
    cruel and unusual punishment regarding juvenile sentencing.                      To
    
    analyze Zarate’s argument under the Iowa Constitution’s cruel and
    
    unusual punishment jurisprudence, we first review the federal and state
    
    jurisprudence necessary to give context to the analysis.
    
          The Supreme Court’s trilogy of juvenile sentencing cases began
    
    with its 2005 holding in Roper that the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and
    
    Unusual       Punishment     Clause    prohibits   the    imposition    of   capital
    
    punishment on juvenile offenders. 543 U.S. at 560, 125 S. Ct. at 1190.
    
    In Roper, the Court noted the differences in maturity, responsibility,
    
    susceptibility to negative influences, control, and character development
    
    between adult and juvenile offenders that “render suspect any conclusion
    
    that a juvenile falls among the worst offenders.”            Id. at 569–70, 125
    
    S. Ct. at 1195.     Five years later, the Supreme Court decided Graham,
    
    holding a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for juveniles
    
    convicted of nonhomicide offenses violates the Eighth Amendment. 560
    
    U.S. at 74, 130 S. Ct. at 2030. Finally, in 2012, the Supreme Court held
    
    in Miller that a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the
    
    possibility    of   parole   for   juvenile   offenders    violates    the   Eighth
    
    Amendment. 567 U.S. at 479, 132 S. Ct. at 2469. In doing so, the Court
    
    held that sentencing courts must make individualized sentencing
    
    decisions for juvenile offenders that consider their age and age-related
    
    characteristics before imposing “the harshest possible penalty for
                                            11
    
    juveniles” of a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Id. at 489,
    
    132 S. Ct. at 2475.
    
             In the wake of Miller, the Governor commuted the sentences of all
    
    juvenile offenders in Iowa serving mandatory sentences of life without
    
    parole to sentences of sixty years without parole and with no credit for
    
    earned time.     See Ragland, 836 N.W.2d at 110–11.          Consequently, in
    
    Ragland, we held that Miller applied retroactively and that the Governor’s
    
    commutations were de facto sentences of life without the possibility of
    
    parole that required individualized sentencing as described in Miller. Id.
    
    at 119, 122. Miller and our subsequent decision in Ragland launched a
    
    series    of   cases   regarding    juvenile   sentencing   under   the   Iowa
    
    Constitution.
    
             First, in State v. Null, we held that Miller’s individualized
    
    sentencing requirement applied to a 52.5-year sentence because
    
    “geriatric release” after a lengthy term-of-years sentence for a juvenile
    
    offender fails to provide the juvenile with any meaningful opportunity to
    
    demonstrate his or her maturity and rehabilitation. 
    836 N.W.2d 41
    , 70–
    
    71 (2013).       Likewise, in State v. Pearson, we held that Miller’s
    
    individualized     sentencing      requirement   applied    under   the   Iowa
    
    Constitution to a minimum sentence of thirty-five years before parole
    
    eligibility for a juvenile offender convicted of nonhomicide offenses. 
    836 N.W.2d 88
    , 96 (Iowa 2013).
    
             Further, in Lyle, we held all mandatory minimum prison sentences
    
    for juvenile offenders are unconstitutional under article I, section 17 of
    
    the Iowa Constitution and found that “the sentencing of juveniles
    
    according to statutorily required mandatory minimums does not
    
    adequately serve the legitimate penological objectives in light of the
    
    child’s categorically diminished culpability.” 854 N.W.2d at 400–01. We
                                         12
    
    also provided the following factors that a district court must use in
    
    determining whether the minimum period of incarceration without parole
    
    is warranted:
    
              (1) the age of the offender and the features of youthful
              behavior, such as “immaturity, impetuosity, and failure
              to appreciate risks and consequences”; (2) the particular
              “family and home environment” that surround the youth;
              (3) the circumstances of the particular crime and all
              circumstances relating to youth that may have played a
              role in the commission of the crime; (4) the challenges for
              youthful offenders in navigating through the criminal
              process; and (5) the possibility of rehabilitation and the
              capacity for change.
    
    854 N.W.2d at 404 n.10 (quoting Miller, 567 U.S. at 477–78, 132 S. Ct. at
    
    2468).
    
          In State v. Louisell, we reaffirmed
    
          that under both the United States Constitution and the Iowa
          Constitution, juveniles convicted of crimes must be afforded
          a “meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on
          demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation”—if a sentencing
          judge, exercising discretion, determines parole should be
          available.
    
    
    865 N.W.2d 590
    , 602 (Iowa 2015) (quoting Graham, 560 U.S. at 75, 130
    
    S. Ct. at 2030). We also held that a fixed term-of-years sentence was not
    
    an option “[b]ecause there was no statutory authority for the determinate
    
    sentence” and “judges may only impose punishment authorized by the
    
    legislature within constitutional constraints.” Id. at 598. Additionally,
    
    we declined to address Louisell’s argument that her parole eligibility was
    
    illusory based on Iowa’s low rate of parole-eligible offenders who had
    
    actually been granted parole, asserting that this argument was not ripe
    
    for us to decide. Id. at 601–02.
    
          In Seats, we expounded upon the factors a district court should
    
    consider as part of its discretionary sentencing in cases where it could
    
    sentence a juvenile to life in prison without the possibility of parole for
                                        13
    
    first-degree murder. 865 N.W.2d at 556–57. These factors stem from
    
    our holding in Lyle and include the differences between children and
    
    adults, the family and home environment, the circumstances of the
    
    homicide offense, the role of substance abuse in the juvenile’s offense,
    
    and the fact that juveniles are more capable of rehabilitation than adults.
    
    Id. at 555–57. Additionally, we stressed that “the presumption for any
    
    sentencing judge is that the judge should sentence juveniles to life in
    
    prison with the possibility of parole for murder unless the other factors
    
    require a different sentence.” Id. at 555.
    
          In State v. Sweet, we categorically banned sentencing juvenile
    
    offenders to life without the possibility of parole under article I, section
    
    17 of the Iowa Constitution.     
    879 N.W.2d 811
    , 839 (Iowa 2016).       We
    
    noted that the Miller individualized sentencing hearing is inadequate in
    
    the context of sentencing juvenile offenders to life without the possibility
    
    of parole because that sentence required the sentencer to “do the
    
    impossible, namely, to determine whether the offender is ‘irretrievably
    
    corrupt’ at a time when even trained professionals with years of clinical
    
    experience would not attempt to make such a determination.” Id. at 837.
    
    Rather, the parole board, not the sentencer, is in the best position to
    
    determine whether the offender is incorrigibly corrupt. Id. at 839.
    
          Finally, in Roby, we concluded article I, section 17 of the Iowa
    
    Constitution does not categorically prohibit imposing a minimum term of
    
    incarceration without the possibility of parole on a juvenile offender so
    
    long as the court only imposes it after considering relevant mitigating
    
    factors of youth.    897 N.W.2d at 143.       We also sought to provide
    
    guidance on the Lyle sentencing factors, noting that they ordinarily work
    
    to mitigate punishment in order to help sentencing courts craft “a
    
    punishment that serves the best interests of the child and society.” Id. at
                                          14
    
    144 (quoting Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 402).           Further, we reiterated the
    
    differences between children and adults in sentencing, asserting
    
    “[p]erceptions applicable to adult behavior cannot normally be used to
    
    draw conclusions from juvenile behavior.” Id. at 147.
    
           B. Zarate’s Categorical Challenges.        The court employs a two-
    
    step inquiry to a categorical challenge to a sentence.        See Lyle, 854
    
    N.W.2d at 386.         First, we examine “ ‘objective indicia of society’s
    
    standards, as expressed in legislative enactments and state practice’ to
    
    determine whether there is a national consensus against the sentencing
    
    practice at issue.” Id. (quoting Graham, 560 U.S. at 61, 130 S. Ct. at
    
    2022).    Second, we consider our controlling precedents and our
    
    interpretation of the Iowa Constitution’s text, history, meaning, and
    
    purpose to guide our own independent judgment on the constitutionality
    
    of the challenged sentence. Id. As part of our independent judgment, we
    
    also   evaluate   whether    the   challenged   sentencing   practice   serves
    
    legitimate penological goals, as well as “the culpability of the offenders at
    
    issue in light of their crimes and characteristics, along with the severity
    
    of the punishment in question.” Id. (quoting Graham, 560 U.S. at 67,
    
    130 S. Ct. at 2026).
    
           1. The constitutionality of Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(a)(1)–(3).
    
    During the 2015 legislative session, the general assembly enacted and
    
    the Governor signed into law Senate File 448, which is codified at Iowa
    
    Code section 902.1. Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(a)(1)–(3) provides three
    
    sentencing options for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder:
    
                 (1) Commitment to the director of the department of
           corrections for the rest of the defendant’s life with no
           possibility of parole unless the governor commutes the
           sentence to a term of years.
                                            15
                (2) Commitment to the custody of the director of the
          department of corrections for the rest of the defendant’s life
          with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum term of
          confinement as determined by the court.
    
                (3) Commitment to the custody of the director of the
          department of corrections for the rest of the defendant’s life
          with the possibility of parole.
    
    Iowa Code § 902.1(2)(a)(1)–(3).
    
          Zarate    argues    that   Iowa   Code    section   902.1(2)(a)(1)–(3)   is
    
    unconstitutional because it does not provide sentencing judges with the
    
    opportunity to sentence juvenile offenders convicted of first-degree
    murder to a term-of-years sentence.          Although the sentencing statute
    
    provides the sentencing court with flexibility to choose between set
    
    sentencing options, Zarate argues that the statute does not go far
    
    enough in creating judicial discretion to fashion juvenile sentences.
    
    Additionally, Zarate argues the sentencing options under section
    
    902.1(2)(a)    are   unconstitutional   because    they   do   not   provide   a
    
    meaningful opportunity for release under Miller and Ragland since life
    
    imprisonment with the possibility of parole is a de facto life sentence.
    
    Specifically, Zarate contends parole is merely illusory because the parole
    
    board is not required to annually review the status of an offender
    
    convicted of a class “A” felony, few inmates serving a life sentence with
    
    the possibility of parole have actually received parole, and
    
          the passage of Senate File 448 and the Governor’s
          commutation language make it clear that the legislature and
          [G]overnor do not intend to have a parole board that will
          consider the constitutional mitigating factors from Null,
          Ragland, Lyle, and Miller.
    
          At the outset, we hold that Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(a)(1), which
    
    allows the sentencing court to sentence a juvenile offender to life
    
    imprisonment without the possibility of parole is unconstitutional based
    
    on our holding in Sweet. We categorically banned the sentence of life
                                         16
    
    imprisonment without the possibility of parole for all juvenile offenders in
    
    Sweet, holding this sentence violated article I, section 17 of the Iowa
    
    Constitution.   879 N.W.2d at 839.        However, this unconstitutional
    
    portion of the statute does not render the rest of section 902.1(2)(a)
    
    unconstitutional.
    
          “When parts of a statute or ordinance are constitutionally valid,
    
    but other discrete and identifiable parts are infirm, we may sever the
    
    offending portion from the enactment and leave the remainder intact.”
    
    Am. Dog Owners Ass’n v. City of Des Moines, 
    469 N.W.2d 416
    , 418 (Iowa
    
    1991) (per curiam). We “leave the valid parts in force on the assumption
    
    that the legislature would have intended those provisions to stand
    
    alone.” Breeden v. Iowa Dep’t of Corr., 
    887 N.W.2d 602
    , 608 (Iowa 2016)
    
    (quoting Jacob Scott, Codified Canons and the Common Law of
    
    Interpretation, 98 Geo. L.J. 341, 384 (2010)); see also Iowa Code § 4.12
    
    (codifying the severability doctrine). In this case, the rest of Iowa Code
    
    section 902.1(2)(a) is constitutional based on the following two-prong
    
    inquiry we apply to categorical challenges.      Thus, Iowa Code section
    
    902.1(2)(a)(2)–(3) remains valid and in force.
    
          Beginning with the first prong of the analysis, an objective
    
    examination of legislative enactments and state practices demonstrates
    
    that there is not a national consensus against mandatorily sentencing
    
    juvenile offenders convicted of first-degree murder to life imprisonment
    
    with the immediate possibility of parole or life imprisonment with the
    
    possibility of parole after a set number of years. Instead, a survey of the
    
    juvenile sentencing laws of other states demonstrates a national trend in
    
    favor of sentencing juvenile offenders like Zarate to at least a sentence of
    
    life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after an established
    
    minimum term of confinement.
                                               17
    
           Five states have juvenile sentencing schemes that require courts to
    
    sentence juvenile offenders convicted of first-degree murder to at least
    
    life with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum term of
    
    confinement similar to the sentencing option listed in Iowa Code section
    
    902.1(2)(a)(2). 2 Another ten states subject their juvenile offenders to the
    
    same mandatory life with the possibility of parole options as their
    
    convicted adult offenders, many of which require offenders to serve a
    
    minimum term of years before becoming parole eligible. 3 Further, rather
    
    than provide sentencing courts with the ability to craft any sentence they
    
    desire as Zarate contends is the only constitutional way to comply with
    
    Miller and our juvenile sentencing jurisprudence, a number of states
    
    have mandatory minimum sentences for juvenile homicide offenders.4
    
    
           2Ala. Code § 13A-6-2 (Westlaw through 2017 Reg. Sess.); Ariz. Rev. Stat.       Ann.
    § 13-751(A)(2) (Westlaw through 1st Reg. Sess. of 53rd Leg. (2017)); Ark. Code.       Ann.
    § 5-4-104 (West, Westlaw through 2017 Reg. Sess. & 1st Extraordinary Sess.); La.      Stat.
    Ann. § 15:574.4(E)(1)(a) (Westlaw through 2017 2d Extraordinary Sess.); N.C. Gen.     Stat.
    Ann. § 15A-1340.19A (West, Westlaw through 2017 Reg. Sess.).
           3Idaho  Code Ann. § 18-4004 (West, Westlaw through 2017 1st Reg. Sess.); Md.
    Code Ann. Corr. Serv. § 7-301 (West, Westlaw through 2017 Reg. Sess.); Minn. Stat.
    Ann. § 243.05 (West, Westlaw through 2017 Reg. & 1st Spec. Sess.); N.D. Cent. Code
    Ann. § 12.1-32-01 (West, Westlaw through 2017 Reg. Sess.); Ohio Rev. Code Ann.
    § 2929.02(B)(1) (West, Westlaw through File 48 of 132d Gen. Assemb. (2017–2018));
    Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 701.9 (West, Westlaw through 1st Reg. Sess. & 1st Spec.
    Sess. of 56th Leg. (2017)); 13 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 13-8-13(a) (West, Westlaw through
    ch. 480 of Jan. 2017 Sess.); S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-20 (Westlaw through 2017 Sess.);
    Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-35-501(h)(1) (West, Westlaw through 2017 1st Reg. Sess.); Wis.
    Stat. Ann. § 973.014(1)(a)(1) (West, Westlaw through 2017 Act 135).
           4See,  e.g., Alaska Stat. Ann. § 12.55.125(a) (West, Westlaw through 2017 1st
    Reg. Sess. through 4th Spec. Sess. of 30th Leg.) (“A defendant convicted of murder in
    the first degree or murder of an unborn child under AS 11.41.150(a)(1) shall be
    sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment of at least 30 years . . . .”); Del. Code Ann.
    tit. 11, § 4209A (West, Westlaw through 81 Laws 2018) (“Any person who is convicted of
    first-degree murder for an offense that was committed before the person had reached
    the person’s eighteenth birthday shall be sentenced to a term of incarceration not less
    than 25 years . . . .”); Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-3(a) (West, Westlaw through 2017 1st
    Reg. Sess.) (“A person who commits murder shall be imprisoned for a fixed term of
    between forty-five (45) and sixty-five (65) years, with the advisory sentence being fifty-
    five (55) years.”); Me. Ann. Stat. tit. 17-A, § 1251 (Westlaw through 2017 1st Reg. Sess.
                                                 18
    
    See generally Kallee Spooner & Michael S. Vaugh, Sentencing Juvenile
    
    Offenders: A 50-State Survey, 5 Va. J. Crim. L. 130, 146–50 (2017)
    
    (providing a detailed overview of the juvenile sentencing landscape post-
    
    Miller). While we have done away with automatic mandatory minimum
    
    sentences of imprisonment for juvenile offenders in Iowa, an objective
    
    examination         of    other   legislative   enactments      and    state    practices
    
    demonstrates that there is a national consensus in favor of requiring
    
    juvenile offenders convicted of first-degree murder to serve a mandatory
    
    minimum term of confinement before becoming parole eligible.
    
           Additionally, the decision of our legislature to implement Iowa
    
    Code section 902.1(2)(a) and provide the sentencing courts with greater
    
    discretion     to        determine    when      a   juvenile   offender     serving    life
    
    imprisonment with the possibility of parole can become parole eligible
    
    serves as objective indicia of Iowa’s standards regarding the challenged
    
    sentencing practice. As we noted in Lyle, the court owes “deference to
    
    the legislature when it expands the discretion of the court in juvenile
    
    sentencing.” 854 N.W.2d at 388. Unlike the cases we decide, which are
    
    limited to the record before us, “[t]he legislature is uniquely suited to
    
    identifying    and         adopting   additional      substantive     and      procedural
    
    __________________________________________
    & 1st Spec. Sess. of 128th Leg.) (“A person convicted of the crime of murder shall be
    sentenced to imprisonment for life or for any term of years that is not less than 25.”);
    Mo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 565.033(1) (West, Westlaw through 2017 1st Reg. Sess. & 1st &
    2d Extraordinary Sess. of 99th Gen. Assemb.) (“A person found guilty of murder in the
    first degree who was under the age of eighteen at the time of the commission of the
    offense shall be sentenced to a term of life without eligibility for probation or parole as
    provided in section 565.034, life imprisonment with eligibility for parole, or not less
    than thirty years and not to exceed forty years imprisonment.”); Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann.
    § 28-105.02(1) (West, Westlaw through 2017 1st Reg. Sess.) (“Notwithstanding any
    other provision of law, the penalty for any person convicted of a Class 1A felony for an
    offense committed when such person was under the age of eighteen years shall be a
    maximum sentence of not greater than life imprisonment and a minimum sentence of
    not less than forty years’ imprisonment.”).
                                                  19
    
    protections to further the constitutional recognition that ‘children are
    
    different.’ ”    Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 144 (quoting Seats, 865 N.W.2d at
    
    555).     Moreover, “[l]egislative judgments can be ‘the most reliable
    
    objective indicators of community standards for purposes of determining
    
    whether a punishment is cruel and unusual.’ ” Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 388
    
    (quoting State v. Bruegger, 
    773 N.W.2d 862
    , 873 (Iowa 2009)).
    
            Here,        the   legislative    decision     to     require   mandatory    life
    
    imprisonment with the possibility of parole, and to expand the discretion
    
    of   sentencing        courts    by      allowing    them     to   make   individualized
    
    determinations on when a juvenile offender convicted of first-degree
    
    murder is parole eligible, speaks to a consensus in Iowa in favor of the
    
    challenged sentencing practice. The legislature’s recognition of the need
    
    for some discretion in the juvenile sentencing process comports with our
    
    prior holdings dealing with the issue of juvenile sentencing in the
    
    aftermath       of    Miller.    Iowa Code          section    902.1(2)(a)(2)–(3) allows
    
    sentencing courts to craft individualized sentences for each juvenile
    
    offender so long as the juvenile offender is first sentenced to life
    
    imprisonment with some option for parole eligibility.
    
            As the second step in our inquiry, we analyze the Iowa
    
    Constitution’s cruel and unusual punishment clause to determine if the
    
    sentencing options at issue violate the cruel and unusual punishment
    
    clause in light of its text, meaning, purpose, and history. “We seek to
    
    interpret our constitution consistent with the object sought to be
    
    obtained at the time of adoption as disclosed by the circumstances.”
    
    Chiodo v. Section 43.24 Panel, 
    846 N.W.2d 845
    , 851 (Iowa 2014).
    
    However, originalism may not be the best guide for interpreting our
    
    constitution’s cruel and unusual punishment clause in light of the
    
    changes to juvenile sentencing. Interpreting our constitution based on
                                          20
    
    our founders’ intent would not support a categorical ban on life
    
    imprisonment without the possibility of parole eligibility because
    
    juveniles over the age of fourteen were tried and sentenced as adults
    
    when our constitution was adopted. See Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 390.
    
          Nonetheless, other decisions in our history similarly point to the
    
    constitutionality of the sentencing practice at issue. Zarate’s argument
    
    that the statute is unconstitutional because it prevents a term-of-years
    
    sentence seeks to expand our categorical ban on mandatory minimum
    
    sentencing schemes in Lyle to an area of the law that we expressly stated
    
    was not included in the categorical ban.         As we stated in Lyle, the
    
    categorical ban on mandatory minimums for juvenile offenders does not
    
    “prohibit the legislature from imposing a minimum time that youthful
    
    offenders must serve in prison before being eligible for parole.”   Id. at
    
    403. We reiterated this again in Roby, holding there was no national or
    
    local consensus against imposing a minimum prison sentence on
    
    youthful offenders before they can become parole eligible, and “in our
    
    independent judgment article I, section 17 does not yet require abolition
    
    of the practice.”   897 N.W.2d at 143.      Rather, our cruel and unusual
    
    punishment clause simply requires an individualized sentencing process
    
    instead of a one-size-fits-all sentencing scheme before the mandatory
    
    prison sentences can be applied. Id. Iowa Code section 902.1(2) meets
    
    this requirement because it instructs sentencing courts to employ an
    
    individualized review of each juvenile offender’s situation—including a
    
    consideration of the factors mandated in Miller, Lyle, and Seats—then
    
    allows the sentencing court to form a unique sentence with regards to
    
    parole eligibility for each juvenile offender.
    
          Further, Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(a)(2)–(3)’s sentencing options
    
    align with the United States Supreme Court and this court’s recognition
                                          21
    
    of “a fundamental and virtually inexorable difference between juveniles
    
    and adults for the purposes of punishment.” Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 393.
    
    This difference is reflected throughout Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(a)(2)–
    
    (3), beginning with its different sentencing options for juveniles from
    
    adults.   While Iowa law mandates life without parole for adults who
    
    commit first-degree murder, the sentencing options provided in section
    
    902.1(2) provide no mandatory minimum period of incarceration for
    
    juvenile offenders who commit first-degree murder. Compare Iowa Code
    
    § 902.1(1), with id. § 902.1(2)(a)(2)–(3).   Moreover, in contrast to the
    
    mandatory life without parole for adult offenders who commit first-degree
    
    murder, juvenile offenders convicted of the same crime are provided with
    
    an individualized sentencing hearing that takes into account their youth
    
    and a number of other mitigating factors that provide juveniles with more
    
    leniency in the sentencing process.        Compare id. § 902.1(1), with id.
    
    § 902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v).
    
          In addition to our understanding and interpretation of the Iowa
    
    Constitution, we also consider whether the challenged sentencing
    
    practice serves legitimate penological goals and the culpability of the
    
    offender at issue.         Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 386.     These goals include
    
    rehabilitation, retribution, deterrence, and incapacitation.       State v.
    
    Oliver, 
    812 N.W.2d 636
    , 646 (Iowa 2012).         While we have noted that
    
    penological justifications beyond rehabilitation carry less weight in the
    
    juvenile sentencing context, they still have some relevance and purpose
    
    in the sentencing process.        See Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 154 (Zager, J.,
    
    dissenting); Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 399–400.             Even so, our juvenile
    
    sentencing jurisprudence focuses heavily on the goal of rehabilitation
    
    over all others due to the increased capacity of juveniles to reform in
    
    comparison to adults. See Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 147 (majority opinion).
                                        22
    
    The possibility of parole options presented in Iowa Code section
    
    902.1(2)(a)(2)–(3) align with our focus on rehabilitation and allow
    
    sentencing judges to acknowledge the fundamental concept of our
    
    juvenile sentencing jurisprudence that children are different from adults
    
    and should be treated differently due to their increased potential for
    
    rehabilitation. Consequently, sentencing courts can immediately declare
    
    a rehabilitated juvenile offender eligible for parole, or they can consider
    
    the changes a juvenile offender has made and subsequently subject him
    
    or her to a term of imprisonment first to ensure that these changes are
    
    permanent.
    
          Furthermore, the statute’s sentencing options promote other
    
    legitimate   penological   goals   like     retribution,   deterrence,   and
    
    incapacitation. For example, in Roby, we stated, “it may be appropriate
    
    retribution to incarcerate a juvenile for a short time without the
    
    possibility of parole.   Additionally, a sentencing judge could properly
    
    conclude a short term of guaranteed incarceration is necessary to protect
    
    the public.” Id. at 142. Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(a)(2)–(3) aligns with
    
    our statements about penological goals in Roby by allowing sentencing
    
    courts to subject juvenile offenders convicted of first-degree murder to a
    
    term of imprisonment before becoming parole eligible that considers the
    
    nature of the crime as one of many factors in the sentencing process.
    
    Requiring a sentencing court to sentence a juvenile offender convicted of
    
    first-degree murder to a definite term of years as Zarate requests, as
    
    opposed to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, would hinder
    
    the sentencing court’s ability to protect society from offenders who show
    
    signs of recidivism that may require incapacitation until a parole board
    
    determines the offender’s rehabilitation.
                                            23
    
          Finally, Zarate’s claim that Iowa Code section 902.1(2) denies
    
    juvenile   offenders   convicted   of   first-degree   murder   a   meaningful
    
    opportunity for parole is not ripe for adjudication because it is merely
    
    speculative. “A case is ripe for adjudication when it presents an actual,
    
    present controversy, as opposed to one that is merely hypothetical or
    
    speculative.”   State v. Wade, 
    757 N.W.2d 618
    , 627 (Iowa 2008).           The
    
    ripeness doctrine exists to avoid premature adjudication of issues that
    
    would entangle the courts in abstract disagreements over administrative
    
    policies. Id. For example, in Louisell, we declined on ripeness grounds to
    
    rule on the opportunity for meaningful release for parole eligible juvenile
    
    offenders in which the juvenile offender argued the opportunity was
    
    simply illusory due to the low number of juvenile offenders actually
    
    granted parole.    865 N.W.2d at 601–02.          Yvette Louisell made this
    
    argument before being denied parole, and even after Louisell became
    
    eligible for parole as a result of our remand order, the question of her
    
    meaningful opportunity for release under a sentence of life imprisonment
    
    with the possibility of parole was still not ripe because she had not been
    
    denied parole in order to claim a legal violation. Id.
    
          The same ripeness issue occurs in this case. Similar to Louisell,
    
    Zarate’s claim that life imprisonment with the possibility of parole for
    
    juvenile offenders under section 902.1(2)(a)(2)–(3) does not present a
    
    meaningful opportunity for release is speculative.         Much of Zarate’s
    
    argument focuses on the alleged intentions of the specific legislature that
    
    passed Iowa Code section 902.1(2) and the Governor, who signed the bill
    
    into law. Zarate claims the legislature and Governor have an improper
    
    motive and intent to keep juvenile homicide offenders incarcerated,
    
    which denies juvenile offenders convicted of first-degree murder a
    
    meaningful opportunity for parole because the Governor and legislature
                                        24
    
    have the power to appoint and confirm the parole board members under
    
    Iowa Code section 904A.3. However, parole board members must meet
    
    certain qualifications and are appointed for fixed terms. See Iowa Code
    
    §§ 904A.1–.2. Parole decisions are subject to legal standards. See id.
    
    §§ 906.3–.4. Zarate has provided no basis for us to conclude that the
    
    parole board will fail to follow the law in a case that is presented to it,
    
    including his own.
    
          To decide the issue of whether Iowa Code section 902.1(2) denies
    
    juvenile offenders with a meaningful opportunity for release when Zarate
    
    has not yet become parole eligible, or been denied parole, would require
    
    us to speculate about the actions of the parole board in the future. This
    
    abstract decision is not within our purview. Consequently, we reserve
    
    the issue of whether life imprisonment with the possibility of parole
    
    provides juvenile offenders who are eligible for immediate parole with a
    
    meaningful opportunity for release for another day.
    
          2. The constitutionality of sentencing factors under Iowa Code
    
    section 902.1(2). Under Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2), in determining
    
    what sentence to impose,
    
          the [sentencing] court shall consider all circumstances
          including but not limited to the following:
    
                (a) The impact of the offense on each victim, as
          defined by section 915.10, through the use of a victim
          impact statement, as defined in section 915.10, under any
          format permitted by section 915.13. The victim impact
          statement may include comment on the sentence of the
          defendant.
    
                (b) The impact of the offense on the community.
    
                (c) The threat to the safety of the public or any
          individual posed by the defendant.
    
                (d) The degree of participation in the murder by the
          defendant.
                                   25
          (e) The nature of the offense.
    
          (f) The defendant’s remorse.
    
          (g) The defendant’s acceptance of responsibility.
    
           (h) The severity of the offense, including any of the
    following:
    
          (i) The commission of the murder while participating
    in another felony.
    
          (ii) The number of victims.
    
          (iii) The heinous, brutal, cruel manner of the murder,
    including whether the murder was the result of torture.
    
          (i) The capacity of the defendant to appreciate the
    criminality of the conduct.
    
          (j) Whether the ability to conform the defendant’s
    conduct with the requirements of the law was substantially
    impaired.
    
          (k) The level of maturity of the defendant.
    
          (l) The   intellectual   and     mental   capacity   of   the
    defendant.
    
          (m) The nature and extent of any prior juvenile
    delinquency or criminal history of the defendant, including
    the success or failure of previous attempts at rehabilitation.
    
          (n) The mental health history of the defendant.
    
          (o) The level of compulsion, duress, or influence
    exerted upon the defendant, but not to such an extent as to
    constitute a defense.
    
          (p) The likelihood of      the    commission    of   further
    offenses by the defendant.
    
           (q) The chronological age of the defendant and the
    features of youth, including immaturity, impetuosity, and
    failure to appreciate risks and consequences.
    
          (r) The family and home environment that surrounded
    the defendant.
    
          (s) The circumstances of the murder including the
    extent of the defendant’s participation in the conduct and
    the way familial and peer pressure may have affected the
    defendant.
                                             26
                 (t) The competencies associated with youth, including
          but not limited to the defendant’s inability to deal with peace
          officers or the prosecution or the defendant’s incapacity to
          assist the defendant’s attorney in the defendant’s defense.
    
                 (u) The possibility of rehabilitation.
    
                (v) Any other information considered relevant by the
          sentencing court.
    
    Iowa Code § 902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v).
    
          Zarate argues that the sentencing factors found in Iowa Code
    
    section 902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v) are unconstitutional because they require a
    
    sentencing court to consider factors beyond the mitigating factors
    
    established in Miller.     Zarate is especially concerned that a sentencing
    
    court could weigh aggravating factors more heavily than mitigating
    
    factors despite the fact that the statute does not give certain factors more
    
    weight than others. We decline Zarate’s request for us to hold that the
    
    sentencing    factors    set   forth     in   section   902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v)   are
    
    categorically unconstitutional.        However, we do agree with Zarate that
    
    the use of the factors must comport with our juvenile sentencing
    
    jurisprudence in that the five factors set forth in Lyle must be considered
    
    as mitigating factors in the sentencing process. See Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at
    
    404 n.10.    We also hold that the district court’s consideration of any
    
    potential aggravating factors set forth in section 902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v) shall
    
    align with our juvenile sentencing jurisprudence so as not to overwhelm
    
    the mitigating factors associated with youth, especially the five factors of
    
    youth set forth in Lyle.
    
          Under the first prong of our two-prong inquiry to a categorical
    
    challenge, an objective examination of legislative enactments and state
    
    practices demonstrates that there is a growing consensus toward
    
    enumerating set factors for sentencing courts to consider with regard to
    
    sentencing juvenile offenders convicted of first-degree murder. Similar to
                                                27
    
    Iowa’s    juvenile     sentencing       framework,        nine    other     states     have
    
    implemented a juvenile sentencing framework to comply with Miller that
    
    lists related, if not identical, sentencing factors to Iowa’s for a sentencing
    
    court to consider when sentencing juvenile offenders convicted of first-
    
    degree murder. 5
    
           5See   Fla. Stat. Ann. § 921.1401(2)(a–j) (West, Westlaw through 2017 1st Reg.
    Sess. & Spec. “A” Sess. of 25th Leg.) (“In determining whether life imprisonment or a
    term of years equal to life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence, the court shall
    consider factors relevant to the offense and the defendant’s youth and attendant
    circumstances, including, but not limited to: (a) [t]he nature and circumstances of the
    offense committed by the defendant; (b) [t]he effect of the crime on the victim’s family
    and on the community; (c) [t]he defendant’s age, maturity, intellectual capacity, and
    mental and emotional health at the time of the offense; (d) [t]he defendant’s
    background, including his or her family, home, and community environment; (e) [t]he
    effect, if any, of immaturity, impetuosity, or failure to appreciate risks and
    consequences on the defendant’s participation in the offense; (f) [t]he extent of the
    defendant’s participation in the offense; (g) [t]he effect, if any, of familial pressure or
    peer pressure on the defendant’s actions; (h) [t]he nature and extent of the defendant’s
    prior criminal history; (i) [t]he effect, if any, of characteristics attributable to the
    defendant’s youth on the defendant’s judgment; (j) [t]he possibility of rehabilitating the
    defendant.”); 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-4.5-105(a)(1–9) (West, Westlaw through P.A. 100-
    578 of 2018 Reg. Sess.) (“[W]hen a person commits an offense and the person is under
    18 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense, the court, at the sentencing
    hearing conducted under Section 5-4-1, shall consider the following additional factors
    in mitigation in determining the appropriate sentence: (1) the person’s age, impetuosity,
    and level of maturity at the time of the offense, including the ability to consider risks
    and consequences of behavior, and the presence of cognitive or developmental
    disability, or both, if any; (2) whether the person was subjected to outside pressure,
    including peer pressure, familial pressure, or negative influences; (3) the person’s
    family, home environment, educational and social background, including any history of
    parental neglect, physical abuse, or other childhood trauma; (4) the person’s potential
    for rehabilitation or evidence of rehabilitation, or both; (5) the circumstances of the
    offense; (6) the person’s degree of participation and specific role in the offense, including
    the level of planning by the defendant before the offense; (7) whether the person was
    able to meaningfully participate in his or her defense; (8) the person’s prior juvenile or
    criminal history; and (9) any other information the court finds relevant and reliable,
    including an expression of remorse, if appropriate. However, if the person on advice of
    counsel chooses not to make a statement, the court shall not consider a lack of an
    expression of remorse as an aggravating factor.”); La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art.
    878.1(C) (“At the [juvenile sentencing] hearing, the prosecution and defense shall be
    allowed to introduce any aggravating and mitigating evidence that is relevant to the
    charged offense or the character of the offender, including but not limited to the facts
    and circumstances of the crime, the criminal history of the offender, the offender’s level
    of family support, social history, and such other factors as the court may deem
    relevant.”); Mo. Ann. Stat. § 565.033(2) (“When assessing punishment in all first degree
                                                  28
    
    __________________________________________
    murder cases in which the defendant was under the age of eighteen at the time of the
    commission of the offense or offenses, the judge in a jury-waived trial shall consider, or
    the judge shall include in instructions to the jury for it to consider, the following
    factors: (1) [t]he nature and circumstances of the offense committed by the defendant;
    (2) [t]he degree of the defendant’s culpability in light of his or her age and role in the
    offense; (3) [t]he defendant’s age, maturity, intellectual capacity, and mental and
    emotional health and development at the time of the offense; (4) [t]he defendant’s
    background, including his or her family, home, and community environment; (5) [t]he
    likelihood for rehabilitation of the defendant; (6) [t]he extent of the defendant’s
    participation in the offense; (7) [t]he effect of familial pressure or peer pressure on the
    defendant’s actions; (8) [t]he nature and extent of the defendant’s prior criminal history,
    including whether the offense was committed by a person with a prior record of
    conviction for murder in the first degree, or one or more serious assaultive criminal
    convictions; (9) [t]he effect of characteristics attributable to the defendant’s youth on the
    defendant’s judgment; and (10) [a] statement by the victim or the victim’s family
    member . . . .”); Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-105.02(2) (In determining the sentence of a
    juvenile offender convicted of a Class 1A felony, “the court shall consider mitigating
    factors which led to the commission of the offense. The convicted person may submit
    mitigating factors to the court, including, but not limited to: (a) [t]he convicted person’s
    age at the time of the offense; (b) [t]he impetuosity of the convicted person; (c) [t]he
    convicted person’s family and community environment; (d) [t]he convicted person’s
    ability to appreciate the risks and consequences of the conduct; (e) [t]he convicted
    person’s intellectual capacity; and (f) [t]he outcome of a comprehensive mental health
    evaluation of the convicted person conducted by an adolescent mental health
    professional licensed in this state. The evaluation shall include, but not be limited to,
    interviews with the convicted person’s family in order to learn about the convicted
    person’s prenatal history, developmental history, medical history, substance abuse
    treatment history, if any, social history, and psychological history.”); Nev. Rev. Stat.
    Ann. § 176.017 (West, Westlaw through 79th Reg. Sess. (2017)) (“If a person is
    convicted as an adult for an offense that the person committed when he or she was less
    than 18 years of age, in addition to any other factor that the court is required to
    consider before imposing a sentence upon such a person, the court shall consider the
    differences between juvenile and adult offenders, including, without limitation, the
    diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to that of adults and the typical
    characteristics of youth.”); N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 15A-1340.19B(c)(1)–(9) (West, Westlaw
    through 2017 Reg. Sess.) (“The defendant or the defendant’s counsel may submit
    mitigating circumstances to the court, including, but not limited to, the following
    factors: (1) [a]ge at the time of the offense; (2) [i]mmaturity; (3) [a]bility to appreciate the
    risks and consequences of the conduct; (4) [i]ntellectual capacity; (5) [p]rior record;
    (6) [m]ental health; (7) [f]amilial or peer pressure exerted upon the defendant;
    (8) [l]ikelihood that the defendant would benefit from rehabilitation in confinement;
    (9) [a]ny other mitigating factor or circumstance.”); W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-11-23(c)(1)–
    (15) (West, Westlaw through 2017 3d Extraordinary Sess.) (“In addition to other factors
    required by law to be considered prior to the imposition of a sentence, in determining
    the appropriate sentence to be imposed on a person who has been transferred to the
    criminal jurisdiction of the court pursuant to section ten, article five, chapter forty-nine
    of this code and who has been subsequently tried and convicted of a felony offense as
    an adult, the court shall consider the following mitigating circumstances: (1) [a]ge at the
    time of the offense; (2) [i]mpetuosity; (3) [f]amily and community environment;
                                                  29
    
            Likewise, the decision of our legislature to enumerate sentencing
    
    factors under Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2), and provide the
    
    sentencing courts with a plethora of factors to allow for greater discretion
    
    in crafting a juvenile sentence, serves as objective indicia of Iowa’s
    
    standards regarding the challenged sentencing factors.                        As we noted
    
    previously, the legislature is entitled to deference when it expands the
    
    court’s discretion in the juvenile sentencing realm. Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at
    
    388. Further, the legislature is in the best position to identify and adopt
    
    legal protections that advance our constitutional recognition that
    
    “children are different.” Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 144 (quoting Seats, 865
    
    N.W.2d at 555).
    
            With regard to the second factor, examining our controlling
    
    precedents and interpretations of the Iowa Constitution’s text, history,
    
    meaning, and purpose, an examination of the sentencing factors
    
    enumerated in Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v) supports our
    
    __________________________________________
    (4) [a]bility to appreciate the risks and consequences of the conduct; (5) [i]ntellectual
    capacity; (6) [t]he outcomes of a comprehensive mental health evaluation conducted by
    [a] mental health professional licensed to treat adolescents in the State of West Virginia:
    Provided, that no provision of this section may be construed to require that a
    comprehensive mental health evaluation be conducted; (7) [p]eer or familial pressure;
    (8) [l]evel of participation in the offense; (9) [a]bility to participate meaningfully in his or
    her defense; (10) [c]apacity for rehabilitation; (11) [s]chool records and special education
    evaluations; (12) [t]rauma history; (13) [f]aith and community involvement;
    (14) [i]involvement in the child welfare system; and (15) [a]ny other mitigating factor or
    circumstances.); Ex parte Henderson, 
    144 So. 3d 1262
    , 1283–84 (Ala. 2013) (“We hold
    that a sentencing hearing for a juvenile convicted of a capital offense must now include
    consideration of: (1) the juvenile’s chronological age at the time of the offense and the
    hallmark features of youth, such as immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate
    risks and consequences; (2) the juvenile’s diminished culpability; (3) the circumstances
    of the offense; (4) the extent of the juvenile’s participation in the crime; (5) the juvenile’s
    family, home, and neighborhood environment; (6) the juvenile’s emotional maturity and
    development; (7) whether familial and/or peer pressure affected the juvenile; (8) the
    juvenile’s past exposure to violence; (9) the juvenile’s drug and alcohol history; (10) the
    juvenile’s ability to deal with the police; (11) the juvenile’s capacity to assist his or her
    attorney; (12) the juvenile’s mental-health history; (13) the juvenile’s potential for
    rehabilitation; and (14) any other relevant factor related to the juvenile’s youth.”).
                                                 30
    
    decision that the statutory factors comport with our juvenile sentencing
    
    jurisprudence and the Iowa Constitution. In Seats, we expounded upon
    
    the five youth-related characteristics required under Miller and Lyle,
    
    holding that a sentencing court must consider the factors as “mitigating,
    
    not aggravating” when sentencing a juvenile offender. Seats, 865 N.W.2d
    
    at 555–57. In Roby, we again endorsed the use of these factors, noting
    
    that they “identify the primary reasons most juvenile offenders should
    
    not be sentenced without parole eligibility,” and they “must not normally
    
    be used to impose a minimum sentence of incarceration without parole
    
    unless expert evidence supports the use of the factors to reach such a
    
    result.”   897 N.W.2d at 147.               A comparison of the Lyle factors we
    
    discussed in greater length in Seats and Roby, to those in Iowa Code
    
    section 902.1(2)(b)(2), demonstrates the statutory factors’ alignment with
    
    our juvenile sentencing jurisprudence.              Cf. Sweet, 879 N.W.2d at 840
    
    (Cady, C.J., concurring specially) (noting these factors “addressed the
    
    constitutional deficiency identified in Miller and in our cases that
    
    followed”).
    
          The first Lyle factor requires a sentencing court to consider “the
    
    age of the offender and the features of youthful behavior, such as
    
    ‘immaturity,        impetuosity,     and     failure        to   appreciate     risks   and
    
    consequences.’ ”       854 N.W.2d at 404 n.10 (quoting Miller, 567 U.S. at
    
    477–78, 132 S. Ct. at 2468).              In Seats, we asserted this consideration
    
    requires      the    sentencing     judge     to    recognize       that   “children    are
    
    constitutionally different from adults.” 865 N.W.2d at 556. In Roby, we
    
    elaborated further, stating this factor allows for the introduction of
    
    evidence      at    sentencing     that    speaks      to    the   juvenile’s    “maturity,
    
    deliberation of thought, and appreciation of risk-taking” and “is most
    
    meaningfully applied when based on qualified professional assessments
                                           31
    
    of the offender’s decisional capacity.” 897 N.W.2d at 145. Similarly, the
    
    statutory factors require the sentencing judge to evaluate “[w]hether the
    
    ability to conform the defendant’s conduct with the requirements of the
    
    law was substantially impaired,” “[t]he level of maturity of the
    
    defendant,” “[t]he intellectual and mental capacity of the defendant,”
    
    “[t]he level of compulsion, duress, or influence exerted upon the
    
    defendant,” “[t]he chronological age of the defendant and the features of
    
    youth, including immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate the
    
    risks and consequences,” the effect of peer pressure on the defendant,
    
    and “[t]he competencies associated with youth, including but not limited
    
    to the defendant’s inability to deal with peace officers or the prosecution
    
    or the defendant’s incapacity to assist the defendant’s attorney in the
    
    defendant’s defense.” Iowa Code § 902.1(2)(b)(2)(j)–(l), (o), (q), (s).
    
           Second, Lyle requires a sentencing judge to consider the juvenile’s
    
    family and home environment. 854 N.W.2d at 404 n.10. In Seats, we
    
    explained that this factor requires review of “any information regarding
    
    childhood abuse, parental neglect, personal and family drug or alcohol
    
    abuse, prior exposure to violence, lack of parental supervision, lack of an
    
    adequate education, and the juvenile’s susceptibility to psychological or
    
    emotional damage.” 865 N.W.2d at 556. Further, in Roby, we noted this
    
    factor “is not limited to extremely brutal or dysfunctional home
    
    environments, but considers the impact of all circumstances and all
    
    income and social backgrounds.”         897 N.W.2d at 146.       The statutory
    
    factors comply with our caselaw by requiring sentencing judges to
    
    consider the “mental health history of the defendant,” “[t]he family and
    
    home    environment     that   surrounded      the   defendant,”    and   “[t]he
    
    circumstances of the murder including the extent of the defendant’s
                                           32
    
    participation in the conduct and the way familial and peer pressure may
    
    have affected the defendant.” Iowa Code § 902.1(2)(b)(2)(n), (r)–(s).
    
          Third, under Lyle, the sentencing judge must consider “the
    
    circumstances of the particular crime and all circumstances relating to
    
    youth that may have played a role in the commission of the crime.” 854
    
    N.W.2d at 404 n.10. With regard to homicide offenses, we stated that
    
    this requires the consideration of “the circumstances of the homicide
    
    offense, including the extent of [the juvenile’s] participation in the
    
    conduct and the way familial and peer pressures may have affected him.”
    
    Seats, 865 N.W.2d at 556 (alteration in original) (quoting Miller, 567 U.S.
    
    at 477, 132 S. Ct. at 2468).          Also, in Roby, we noted that “[t]he
    
    aggravating circumstances of a crime that suggest an adult offender is
    
    depraved may only reveal a juvenile offender to be wildly immature and
    
    impetuous.” 897 N.W.2d at 146. Thus, “the circumstances of the crime
    
    do not necessarily weigh against mitigation when the crime caused grave
    
    harm or involved especially brutal circumstances.” Id. In accord with
    
    these holdings, Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2)(r)–(s) requires sentencing
    
    judges to consider the      circumstances of the crime and the effects of
    
    familial and peer pressure.       Moreover, comparable to our holding in
    
    Seats, the statute also requires sentencing judges to consider “[t]he
    
    degree of participation in the murder by the defendant,” “[t]he nature of
    
    the offense,” “[t]he severity of the offense, including any of the following:
    
    (i) [t]he commission of the murder while participating in another felony[,]
    
    (ii) [t]he number of victims, [and] (iii) [t]he heinous, brutal, cruel manner
    
    of the murder, including whether the murder was the result of torture.”
    
    Iowa Code § 902.1(2)(b)(2)(d)–(e), (h)–(l).
    
          Fourth, Lyle requires the sentencing court to consider “the
    
    challenges of youthful offenders in navigating through the criminal
                                          33
    
    process.” 854 N.W.2d at 404 n.10. In Roby, we explained this factor
    
    “mitigates against punishment because juveniles are generally less
    
    capable of navigating through the criminal process than adult offenders,”
    
    which can affect the juvenile’s “general competency to stand trial or
    
    relate more specifically to cognitive or other incapacities to withstand
    
    police interrogation.” 897 N.W.2d at 146–47. As noted previously, the
    
    statute takes this into consideration by requiring the sentencing judge to
    
    examine “[t]he competencies associated with youth, including but not
    
    limited to the defendant’s inability to deal with peace officers or the
    
    prosecution or the defendant’s incapacity to assist the defendant’s
    
    attorney in the defendant’s defense.” Iowa Code § 902.1(2)(b)(2)(t).
    
            Finally, Lyle mandates the sentencing judge to consider “the
    
    possibility of rehabilitation and capacity for change.” 854 N.W.2d at 404
    
    n.10.     We explained in Roby that this factor ordinarily supports
    
    mitigation because juveniles are more capable of rehabilitation.           897
    
    N.W.2d at 147.      Iowa Code section 902.1(2) does this by requiring a
    
    sentencing judge to consider “[t]he nature and extent of any prior
    
    juvenile delinquency or criminal history of the defendant, including the
    
    success or failure of previous attempts at rehabilitation,” “[t]he likelihood
    
    of the commission of further offenses by the defendant,” and “[t]he
    
    possibility of rehabilitation.” Iowa Code § 902.1(2)(b)(2)(m), (p), (u).
    
            Despite these similarities, Zarate argues the statutory factors are
    
    unconstitutional because they do not explicitly state that the sentencing
    
    court must treat these factors as mitigating rather than aggravating. We
    
    agree that the sentencing court must treat the relevant factors associated
    
    with youth that we first set forth in Lyle as mitigating.       However, the
    
    statute’s failure to explicitly state that these factors must be treated as
    
    mitigating does not render the sentencing factors unconstitutional. As
                                                 34
    
    we have already noted, our existing juvenile sentencing jurisprudence
    
    establishes that a sentencing court must consider the five Lyle factors in
    
    a mitigating fashion in the juvenile sentencing process, and the
    
    consideration      of    any     potential   aggravating   factors,    including    the
    
    circumstances of the crime, cannot overwhelm the sentencing court’s
    
    analysis. See, e.g., Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 143–47. “We strive to interpret
    
    our statutes consistent with our case law.” State v. Carter, 
    618 N.W.2d 374
    , 377 (Iowa 2000). In this case, we interpret the sentencing factors of
    
    Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v) consistent with our caselaw to
    
    require sentencing courts to apply the statute according to our juvenile
    
    sentencing jurisprudence as laid out in this opinion.
    
          Further, we reject Zarate’s overly broad interpretation of our
    
    holding in Null that children cannot be held to the same standard of
    
    culpability   as        adults    in   criminal   sentencing.         Under   Zarate’s
    
    interpretation, it would be unconstitutional for a sentencing judge to
    
    consider any aggravating factors or the nature of the crime.                       This
    
    interprets our holding far too broadly.             See Null, 836 N.W.2d at 75.
    
    Nothing in the federal or state juvenile sentencing jurisprudence prevents
    
    sentencing courts from considering additional and/or aggravating factors
    
    beyond the factors established in Miller, as Zarate contends. In Miller,
    
    the Supreme Court stated that the sentencing court may consider “the
    
    nature of the[ ] crimes,” not just “age and age-related characteristics.”
    
    567 U.S. at 489, 132 S. Ct. at 2475. In Ragland, we held “the possibility
    
    of rehabilitation” was one of five sentencing factors, though not the only
    
    one to consider, 836 N.W.2d at 115 n.6 (quoting Miller, 
    567 U.S. 478
    ,
    
    132 S. Ct. at 2468), in contrast to Zarate’s argument that rehabilitation
    
    should be the primary focus of juvenile sentencing.                     In Seats, we
    
    expounded upon these factors to provide sentencing courts with certain
                                              35
    
    factors it must consider as mitigating. 865 N.W.2d at 556–57. Yet we
    
    never barred the sentencing court from considering additional or
    
    aggravating factors.   Id. at 555–57.          Zarate himself noted in his reply
    
    brief that “[t]he court never limited what characteristics could be
    
    considered, it just stated that ‘the typical characteristics of youth . . . are
    
    to be regarded as mitigating, not aggravating factors.’ ” (quoting Null, 836
    
    N.W.2d at 75).
    
          The fact of the matter is, “[c]riminal punishment can have different
    
    goals, and choosing among them is within the legislature’s discretion.”
    
    Oliver, 812 N.W.2d at 646 (quoting Graham, 560 U.S. at 71, 130 S. Ct. at
    
    2028). While the goal of deterrence carries less weight in the juvenile
    
    sentencing   realm,    it   still   has    some     weight   depending   on   the
    
    circumstances of each case. See, e.g., Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 142; Lyle,
    
    854 N.W.2d at 399. Nevertheless, Zarate’s request that we hold the use
    
    of additional and/or aggravating factors beyond the mitigating youth-
    
    related factors first established in Miller is unconstitutional would
    
    impede the legislature’s discretion and ability to promote goals for the
    
    criminal punishment of juvenile offenders other than rehabilitation.
    
          The sentencing court’s ultimate goal is to decide which sentence
    
    “will provide maximum opportunity for the rehabilitation of the
    
    defendant, and for the protection of the community from further offenses
    
    by the defendant and others.”         Iowa Code § 901.5.       For a sentencing
    
    court to adequately meet this goal, the relevant information in the
    
    sentencing calculation may include aggravating factors.            Otherwise, it
    
    would become seemingly impossible for the state to                   rebut the
    
    presumption “that the judge should sentence juveniles to life in prison
    
    with the possibility of parole unless the other factors require a different
                                        36
    
    sentence” in order for the sentencing court to impose any minimum term
    
    of imprisonment before parole eligibility. Seats, 865 N.W.2d at 555.
    
          While Zarate has improved his life during his time in prison, and
    
    may now be less culpable than other juvenile offenders given his
    
    circumstances, other juvenile offenders may still require incapacitation
    
    to prevent recidivism, or may require a longer sentence due to their
    
    culpability. The factors enumerated in Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2)
    
    will assist the sentencing court in recognizing these differences between
    
    juvenile and adult offenders. Additionally, it will assist the sentencing
    
    court in balancing the competing goals of punishment and provide
    
    sentencing courts with a variety of case-specific factors to help them
    
    appropriately take these differences and goals into account when
    
    prescribing sentences.   This creates a truly individualized sentencing
    
    hearing. Overall, “the Code in general [for juvenile sentencing] is replete
    
    with provisions vesting considerable discretion in courts to take action
    
    for the best interests of the child.” Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 141.
    
          Ultimately, “[t]he constitutional analysis is not about excusing
    
    juvenile behavior, but imposing punishment in a way that is consistent
    
    with our understanding of humanity today.” Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 398.
    
    The sentencing factors enumerated in Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2)
    
    meet this constitutional analysis by taking into account youth-related
    
    factors, while also recognizing that not all juvenile offenders are capable
    
    of rehabilitation or reintroduction into the community within a set term
    
    of years.   More importantly, the listed factors provide the necessary
    
    individualized sentencing process for juvenile offenders by allowing
    
    sentencing courts to consider a wide array of factors on a case-by-case
    
    basis to craft an individualized sentence for each juvenile offender.
    
    Therefore, we affirm the district court on this issue with the additional
                                         37
    
    mandate that the typical factors associated with youth as set forth in
    
    Lyle must be considered mitigating and that the circumstances of the
    
    crime or other aggravating factors may not overwhelm the mitigating
    
    factors.
    
          C. Zarate’s As-Applied Challenge.          Zarate argues we should
    
    vacate his sentence because the resentencing court inappropriately
    
    considered the sentencing factors under Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2)
    
    in a manner that allowed the circumstances of his offense to overwhelm
    
    the sentencing analysis.       On our review of the district court’s
    
    resentencing decision, we conclude the district court abused its
    
    discretion by imposing a mandatory minimum sentence of ten additional
    
    years of imprisonment based on the sentencing judge’s belief that there
    
    “should be [a] minimum period of time [for imprisonment] for somebody
    
    that takes the life of another individual, whether that person is a juvenile
    
    or an adult.”
    
          As we held in Roby, our abuse of discretion standard for sentences
    
    that are within the statutory limits “is not forgiving of a deficiency in the
    
    constitutional right to a reasoned sentencing decision based on a proper
    
    hearing.”   897 N.W.2d at 138.         We have repeatedly stressed the
    
    constitutional   mandate    that   juvenile   offenders   must   receive   an
    
    individualized hearing that takes into account the Lyle factors in a
    
    mitigating fashion. See, e.g., id. at 143–47. We have also maintained
    
    that “the presumption for any sentencing judge is that the judge should
    
    sentence juveniles to life in prison with the possibility of parole for
    
    murder unless the other factors require a different sentence.” Seats, 865
    
    N.W.2d at 555.      After all, “most juvenile offenders should not be
    
    sentenced without parole eligibility. A sentence of incarceration without
    
    parole eligibility will be an uncommon result.” Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 147.
                                         38
    
          In this case, the district court deprived Zarate of his right to a truly
    
    individualized hearing that appropriately took into account the mitigating
    
    factors of his youth.      We agree that the district court allowed the
    
    circumstances of Zarate’s offense to overwhelm its analysis. Rather than
    
    starting from the necessary presumption of life with the possibility of
    
    parole, the sentencing judge allowed the nature of Zarate’s offense to
    
    taint his analysis by imposing a mandatory minimum sentence of
    
    imprisonment due to his belief that there should be a minimum term of
    
    imprisonment for anyone who commits murder, regardless of their age at
    
    the time of the offense.
    
          “[I]f a sentencing court fails to consider a relevant factor that
    
    should have received significant weight, gives significant weight to an
    
    improper or irrelevant factor, or considers only appropriate factors but
    
    nevertheless commits a clear error of judgment” a discretionary
    
    sentencing ruling may be an abuse of discretion.        Id. at 138 (quoting
    
    People v. Hyatt, 
    891 N.W.2d 549
    , 578 (Mich. Ct. App. 2016)). Here, the
    
    sentencing judge had a predisposition to a mandatory minimum before
    
    parole eligibility for anyone who commits murder and inappropriately
    
    allowed this predisposition to accord improper weight to the nature of
    
    Zarate’s crime when considering the necessary sentencing factors.
    
    Consequently, the sentencing judge failed to appropriately consider the
    
    relevant sentencing factors when he resentenced Zarate. As such, the
    
    sentencing judge did not provide Zarate with the constitutionally
    
    required individualized sentencing process that he is entitled to receive.
    
    Notably, since Zarate’s resentencing took place on December 28, 2015,
    
    the sentencing court did not have the benefit of our holdings in Sweet
    
    and Roby to help guide its analysis.         In light of these subsequent
    
    opinions, we must vacate Zarate’s sentence and remand for a
                                           39
    
    resentencing that is consistent with our current juvenile sentencing
    
    jurisprudence and this opinion.
    
          IV. Conclusion.
    
          The   only   portion   of   Iowa      Code   section   902.1(2)   that   is
    
    unconstitutional under the Iowa Constitution is section 902.1(2)(a)(1),
    
    which gives the district court the sentencing option of life imprisonment
    
    without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders convicted of first-
    
    degree murder.     The remainder of the sentencing options set forth in
    
    Iowa Code section 902.1(2)(a), and the sentencing factors listed in Iowa
    
    Code section 902.1(2)(b)(2)(a)–(v), are constitutional under the Iowa
    
    Constitution.   However, for the aforementioned reasons, we vacate the
    
    sentence of the district court and remand for a resentencing that is
    
    consistent with our current juvenile sentencing jurisprudence and with
    
    this opinion.
    
          DISTRICT      COURT         SENTENCE         VACATED       AND      CASE
    
    REMANDED.
    
          Cady, C.J. and Waterman and Mansfield, JJ. join this opinion.
    
    Hecht, J. files a concurring opinion in which Wiggins, J. joins. Appel, J.
    
    files a separate concurring opinion.
                                         40
    
                                                      #15–2203, State v. Zarate
    
    HECHT, Justice (concurring specially).
    
          I agree with the majority’s determination that the sentence
    
    imposing a minimum term of incarceration must be vacated. Although I
    
    reach the same result as the majority, my rationale for doing so is
    
    different. For the reasons stated in my concurrence in State v. Roby, 
    897 N.W.2d 127
    , 149 (Iowa 2017) (Hecht, J., concurring specially), I believe a
    
    mandatory minimum term of incarceration for a juvenile offender is
    
    categorically prohibited by article I, section 17 of the Iowa Constitution.
    
    Whether imposed by legislative mandate or by a sentencing court, the
    
    constitutional infirmity of mandatory minimum sentences for juvenile
    
    offenders is the same in my view. The timing of Rene Zarate’s parole, if
    
    any, from his life sentence should be left to the board of parole, the entity
    
    in the best position to discern whether he has shown maturation and
    
    rehabilitation.
    
          Wiggins, J. joins this special concurrence.
                                         41
    
                                                       #15–2203, State v. Zarate
    
    APPEL, Justice (concurring specially).
    
          I respectfully concur in the result only in this case.
    
          First, I do not believe a judicially imposed twenty-five-year
    
    mandatory minimum sentence without possibility of parole for a juvenile
    
    offender passes constitutional muster.       As will be pointed out below,
    
    such an approach is inconsistent with observations made in State v.
    
    Lyle, 
    854 N.W.2d 378
     (Iowa 2014).          In Lyle, we declared “[a]fter the
    
    juvenile’s transient impetuosity ebbs and the juvenile matures and
    
    reforms, the incapacitation objective can no longer seriously be served”
    
    and the mandatory sentence becomes a “purposeless and needless
    
    imposition of pain and suffering.” Id. at 400 (quoting Coker v. Georgia,
    
    
    433 U.S. 584
    , 592, 
    97 S. Ct. 2861
    , 2866 (1977) (second quote)).
    
          The mandatory sentence in the current case extends until the
    
    offender is forty-two years old, well beyond the time at which juvenile
    
    character is formed. It is inconsistent with the humane underpinnings of
    
    Graham v. Florida, where Justice Kennedy eloquently wrote about the
    
    role of hope for a meaningful life for a juvenile offender. 
    560 U.S. 48
    , 79,
    
    
    130 S. Ct. 2011
    , 2032 (2010) (“Life in prison without the possibility of
    
    parole gives no chance for fulfillment outside prison walls, no chance for
    
    reconciliation with society, no hope.”).     And, under Lyle, a mandatory
    
    sentence significantly beyond the time of maturation for purposes of
    
    incapacity is “purposeless and needless.” 854 N.W.2d at 400 (quoting
    
    Coker, 433 U.S. at 592, 97 S. Ct. at 2866).
    
          Second, I have come to the conclusion that predicting the future
    
    course of a juvenile offender, as psychiatrists have repeatedly warned us,
    
    is simply not possible with any degree of accuracy. See, e.g., Roper v.
    
    Simmons, 
    543 U.S. 551
    , 573, 
    125 S. Ct. 1183
    , 1197 (2005); Alex R.
                                       42
    
    Piquero, Youth Matters: The Meaning of Miller for Theory, Research, and
    
    Policy Regarding Developmental/Life-Course Criminology, 39 New Eng. J.
    
    on Crim. & Civ. Confinement 347, 356–57 (2013); Laurence Steinberg &
    
    Elizabeth S. Scott, Less Guilty by Reason of Adolescence: Developmental
    
    Immaturity, Diminished Responsibility, and the Juvenile Death Penalty, 58
    
    Am. Psychologist 1009, 1014–16 (2003).          Time and time again,
    
    professional organizations have repeatedly warned judges that prediction
    
    of the future course of an offender generally, and a youthful offender
    
    more particularly, is really impossible. See Elizabeth Cauffman et. al.,
    
    Comparing the Stability of Psychopathy Scores in Adolescents Versus
    
    Adults: How Often Is “Fledgling Psychopathy” Misdiagnosed?, 22 Psychol.
    
    Pub. Pol’y & L. 77, 80, 88 (2016) (presenting American Psychological
    
    Association research showing that the majority of juveniles diagnosed
    
    with psychopathy are misdiagnosed, because psychopathic traits are
    
    most often transient). We should not expect judges to be any better at it
    
    than professionally trained psychiatrists.    Indeed, I simply do not
    
    understand what equips judges to be better at making the prediction
    
    than experts.   Instead of imposing mandatory minimums through an
    
    unreliable judicial guess, the constitutionally sound approach is to
    
    abolish mandatory minimum sentences on children and allow the parole
    
    board to make periodic judgments as to whether a child offender has
    
    demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation based on an observable track
    
    record.
    
         I. Mandatory Minimum Incarceration to Age Forty-Two Is
    Contrary to Lyle Principles.
    
          I do not believe a twenty-five-year mandatory minimum term, even
    
    if imposed by a judge, passes constitutional muster. A juvenile offender
    
    who is subject to a term of imprisonment is entitled to a meaningful
                                        43
    
    opportunity to be heard to demonstrate maturity and rehabilitation.
    
    Miller v. Alabama, 
    567 U.S. 460
    , 479, 
    132 S. Ct. 2455
    , 2469 (2012);
    
    Graham, 560 U.S. at 75, 130 S. Ct. at 2030; State v. Roby, 
    897 N.W.2d 127
    , 140 (Iowa 2017); State v. Louisell, 
    865 N.W.2d 590
    , 602 (Iowa 2015);
    
    Lyle, 854 N.W.2d at 381; State v. Null, 
    836 N.W.2d 41
    , 75 (Iowa 2013).
    
    The majority does not question this general principle.      The question,
    
    then, is how to apply that principle in this case and in other cases
    
    involving juvenile offenders.
    
          Neuroscience has established that the character of a juvenile
    
    offender is still being formed until the offender ages into the mid-
    
    twenties.   State v. Sweet, 
    879 N.W.2d 811
    , 837 (Iowa 2016); State v.
    
    Seats, 
    865 N.W.2d 545
    , 557 (Iowa 2015); Null, 836 N.W.2d at 55; see
    
    also Beth A. Colgan, Constitutional Line Drawing at the Intersection of
    
    Childhood and Crime, 9 Stan. J. C.R. & C.L. 79, 85 & n.26 (2013). At
    
    that point, character formation has generally been completed.
    
          What do we do with respect to a juvenile offender who has been
    
    incarcerated but has reached the point at which character formation has
    
    been completed? We answered that question in Lyle, 
    854 N.W.2d 378
    .
    
    There we declared, “After the juvenile’s transient impetuosity ebbs and
    
    the juvenile matures and reforms, the incapacitation objective can no
    
    longer seriously be served” and the mandatory sentence becomes a
    
    “purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering.” Id. at 400
    
    (quoting Coker, 433 U.S. at 592, 97 S. Ct. at 2866 (second quote)).
    
          As implied in Lyle, the timing of the meaningful opportunity to
    
    show maturity and rehabilitation is a critical element. See id. This is not
    
    a new concept. As noted by one observer, the United States Supreme
    
    Court in Rummel v. Estelle, 
    445 U.S. 263
    , 280, 
    100 S. Ct. 1133
    , 1142
    
    (1980), cited the prisoner’s eligibility for parole after twelve years as a
                                         44
    
    factor in upholding a sentence from Eighth Amendment challenge. See
    
    Sarah French Russell, Review for Release: Juvenile Offenders, State
    
    Parole Practices, and the Eighth Amendment, 89 Ind. L.J. 373, 381 (2014)
    
    [hereinafter Russell].
    
          The American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code: Sentencing
    
    addresses the question of juvenile sentence length. Model Penal Code:
    
    Sentencing § 6.11A (Am. Law. Inst., Proposed Final Draft 2017). Under
    
    section 6.11A(g), the Model Penal Code provides that “[n]o sentence of
    
    imprisonment longer than [25] years may be imposed for any offense or
    
    combination of offenses.” Id. § 6.11A(g). Further, the Model Penal Code
    
    recommends a “second look” at juvenile sentences in all cases after ten
    
    years, with earlier consideration if warranted by the facts and
    
    circumstances. Id. § 6.11A(h). The commentary to the Model Penal Code
    
    emphasizes that juvenile eligibility for parole should be considered earlier
    
    than for adult offenders generally. Id. § 6.11A cmt. h. The Model Penal
    
    Code recognizes that “adolescents can generally be expected to change
    
    more rapidly in the immediate post-offense years, and to a greater
    
    absolute degree, than older offenders.” Id.
    
          At the very most, the state may, perhaps, in appropriate
    
    circumstances     constitutionally   impose    a   mandatory      term    of
    
    imprisonment without possibility of parole on a juvenile offender who
    
    commits first-degree murder until the period of character formation is
    
    completed, or approximately until the offender’s age reaches the mid-
    
    twenties. See Russell, 89 Ind. L.J. at 409 (urging parole eligibility after
    
    ten years of incarceration because “it would be logical to tie the timing of
    
    an initial review to when one can expect an individual to have obtained a
    
    fully mature brain and a more stable character”). After that point, the
    
    state must provide the offender with a meaningful opportunity to show
                                        45
    
    maturity and rehabilitation. If such a showing can be made, holding an
    
    offender for purposes of incapacitation beyond that period is a
    
    “purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering.” Lyle, 854
    
    N.W.2d at 400 (quoting Coker, 433 U.S. at 592, 97 S. Ct. at 2866).
    
          Thus, under Lyle principles, there is no doubt that a twenty-five-
    
    year mandatory minimum sentence of a juvenile offender without the
    
    possibility of parole is constitutionally excessive under article I, section
    
    17 of the Iowa Constitution.        Under this scheme, for instance, a
    
    seventeen-year-old offender would not be eligible for parole until age
    
    forty-two. Such a lengthy prison term without the possibility of parole
    
    does not provide the meaningful opportunity to be heard on the question
    
    of maturity and rehabilitation at the right time.      A juvenile offender
    
    should be eligible for parole consideration after the period of character
    
    formation and time for meaningful observation, even for serious crimes.
    
    To the extent a mandatory minimum sentence may be imposed by the
    
    court, it may constitutionally extend only as necessary to ensure
    
    complete character formation and provide the state with a substantial
    
    opportunity to observe the development of the offender.       I would thus
    
    vacate the sentence in this case and remand it for resentencing
    
    consistent with these principles.
    
          I do not think the constitutionally deficiency is cured by the fact
    
    that a judge is dragooned into the decision-making process. Our state
    
    trial court judges have many sterling qualities. They consistently strive
    
    to be patient, fair-minded, and impartial.        They strive to exercise
    
    discretionary authority in a thoughtful way, each and every time. But if
    
    psychiatrists have declared to the world from the mountain tops that
    
    they are ill-equipped to make determinations regarding the prognosis of
    
    children who offend, why do we think judges will do a better job? We
                                           46
    
    should not have the hubris to think judges can, in fact, do a good job
    
    with this impossible task, and we should not be so cynical as to
    
    knowingly assign an impossible job to them.
    
             Of course, I do not suggest that all juvenile offenders are entitled to
    
    release once they are eligible for parole. See Graham, 560 U.S. at 75,
    
    130 S. Ct. at 2030; Sweet, 879 N.W.2d at 832. In any parole evaluation
    
    of a juvenile after a period of imprisonment, the evidence may be
    
    ambiguous or may even affirmatively show that the juvenile offender has
    
    not demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation. The operating principle,
    
    however, is that the juvenile offender must be provided a meaningful
    
    opportunity to demonstrate the maturity and rehabilitation necessary to
    
    support parole at the time that character formation has been completed.
    
         II. The Time Has Come for Categorical Rejection of Mandatory
    Minimums for Juveniles.
    
             The second aspect of this case that is troubling is the development
    
    of a laundry list of factors to be considered by the district court in
    
    sentencing juvenile offenders.        Our caselaw makes it clear that the
    
    vagaries of youth—the immaturity, the failure to appreciate risk, the peer
    
    pressure, and the lack of appreciation of consequences of actions—are all
    mitigating factors. Roby, 897 N.W.2d at 145; Sweet, 879 N.W.2d at 832–
    
    33; State v. Pearson, 
    836 N.W.2d 88
    , 95 (Iowa 2013); Null, 836 N.W.2d at
    
    75. We have further emphasized that the nature of the underlying crime
    
    is not to overwhelm the analysis in juvenile sentencing.            Seats, 865
    
    N.W.2d at 557; Null, 836 N.W.2d at 74–75. The legislative laundry list
    
    appears to be an effort to legislatively override the approach of these
    
    cases.
    
             One approach, of course, is to simply declare that the legislative
    
    action of adding factors does not alter the approach in Seats, 
    865 N.W.2d 47
    
    at 557, Roby, 854 N.W.2d at 145, and our other juvenile cases. See, e.g.,
    
    Sweet, 879 N.W.2d at 832–33; Louisell, 865 N.W.2d at 602; Pearson, 836
    
    N.W.2d at 95; Null, 836 N.W.2d at 75. Whether the legislature packages
    
    considerations as five factors or fifty factors is of no moment for the
    
    purposes of constitutional analysis.      Indeed, many of the newly listed
    
    factors are redundant and overlapping, and in any case, the number of
    
    listed factors does not reflect arithmetically increasing constitutional
    
    importance.
    
          Notwithstanding the slicing and dicing of additional factors that
    
    are now scattered in the statute, the more verbose legislative formulation
    
    has no impact on the constitutionally required approach established in
    
    Seats, Lyle, and Roby.      That approach emphasizes that youth is a
    
    mitigating and not an aggravating factor, cautions sentencing courts not
    
    to give undue emphasis on the nature of the crime, and establishes that
    
    mandatory minimums should be the exception and not the rule in cases
    
    involving juvenile offenders.
    
          But, as I noted in my special concurrence in Roby, 897 N.W.2d at
    
    150 (Appel, J., concurring specially), if implementation of the principles
    
    of State v. Ragland, 
    836 N.W.2d 107
     (Iowa 2013), Lyle, Null, and Roby
    
    prove inconsistent, confusing, difficult, or unworkable, it may be
    
    necessary to move to a more categorical approach utilized in Sweet, 879
    
    N.W.2d at 839.    I believe the time has come to extend the categorical
    
    approach in Sweet to all statutory minimum sentences imposed by
    
    judges on juvenile offenders. Instead, with respect to juvenile offenders,
    
    consideration of whether the offender demonstrates maturation and
    
    rehabilitation should be left to the parole board.
    
          What would the process look like if we applied Sweet to
    
    categorically ban minimum sentences for juvenile offenders?             A
                                              48
    
    meaningful opportunity to demonstrate maturation and rehabilitation
    
    implies at least two requirements. 6 First, a meaningful opportunity to
    
    demonstrate maturation and release must occur no later than after the
    
    completion of character formation. Consideration for parole only when
    
    the juvenile offender reaches forty or fifty years of age is not timely.
    
           In addition, the offender must have a meaningful opportunity to
    
    demonstrate rehabilitation and maturation. The focus of any meaningful
    
    opportunity must be rehabilitation and maturation of the offender.
    
    Further, the offender must have an opportunity to present substantive
    
    evidence to the parole board on rehabilitation and maturation. It would
    
    be premature at this time, however, to outline in detail precisely what a
    
    meaningful opportunity to be heard on the issue would look like, but it
    
    must be a broad enough channel to allow the offender a fair opportunity
    
    to make a case. 7        Of course, the parole board would be under no
    
    obligation to release offenders when the offender has failed to make the
    
    case for rehabilitation and maturation.
    
           III. Conclusion.
    
           For the above reasons, I would reverse the judgment of the district
    
    court and remand for a vacation of the mandatory minimum sentence in
    this case.
    
    
    
           6I  note that some authorities suggest that if the state is to provide juvenile
    offenders with a meaningful opportunity for reform, the offender must be incarcerated
    in “a correctional setting that promotes healthy psychological development.” Elizabeth
    Scott et al., Juvenile Sentencing Reform in a Constitutional Framework, 88 Temp. L. Rev.
    675, 712 (2016).
           7There  is a growing body of legal literature addressing the question. See
    generally Megan Annitto, Graham’s Gatekeeping and Beyond: Juvenile Sentencing
    Reform in the Wake of Graham and Miller, 80 Brook. L. Rev. 119, 134 (2014); Beth
    Caldwell, Creating Meaningful Opportunities for Release: Graham, Miller and California’s
    Youth Offender Parole Hearings, 40 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 245, 257 (2016).