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Case No. 19-1917

James Elvin Dorsey
State of Iowa

James Dorsey was convicted of murder in the first degree for acts committed when he was eighteen years and five days old. He appeals from the court’s order granting the State’s motion for summary judgment and dismissing his application for postconviction relief. He argues: (1) the court erred by relying on res judicata because the court considering his 2014 motion to correct an illegal sentence did not appoint counsel; (2) a court’s failure to provide an individualized sentencing hearing for defendants who commit crimes when they are eighteen years old, as it does for juvenile defendants pursuant to State v. Lyle, 854 N.W.2d 378 (Iowa 2014), is cruel and unusual punishment under the Iowa Constitution; and (3) the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for murder in the first degree is a grossly disproportionate sentence under the circumstances.



James Elvin Dorsey


State of Iowa

Attorney for the Appellant

Alexander Smith

Attorney for the Appellee

Louis S. Sloven

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule


Feb 22, 2022 9:00 AM


Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jun 10, 2022
Date Amended:
Aug 15, 2022

Other Information

Date Retained:
Aug 31, 2021
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