Does Iowa have the death penalty?

A VERDICT in the murder trial of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts was reached on Friday, May 28.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera – the man accused of murdering Tibbetts – was found guilty of first-degree murder by a grand jury.

Read our Mollie Tibbetts live blog for the very latest news and updates…

Does Iowa have the death penalty?

Capital punishment in the state of Iowa has been abolished since 1965.

However, some Iowa lawmakers are trying to reinstitute the death penalty in The Hawkeye State.

The proposal would bring it back under a very limited scope, only applying to people convicted of the crime of murdering a child, sexually assaulting a child and kidnapping a child.

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee in Iowa took up the proposal in January 2021.

This issue has been talked about many times at the Statehouse and failed in 2018 and 2019.

The last execution to take place in Iowa was in March 1963 at Iowa State Penitentiary.

Has the verdict in the murder of Mollie Tibbets been reached?

Rivera was found guilty of first-degree murder in the case of Tibbets on May 28.

A decision was reached just after one day of deliberation. The jury was actively discussing the verdict for 7 hours, 16 minutes and 15 seconds.

Rivera, a Mexican immigrant, is accused of stabbing Tibbets and dumping her body in a field.

The disappearance of Tibbetts sparked a massive search involving hundreds of officers and volunteers.

Surveillance video showed a Chevy Malibu appearing to circle Tibbetts as she ran, and a deputy later spotted Rivera driving the vehicle.

Rivera would confess to approaching Tibbetts and killing her in a panic after she threatened to call the police, according to detectives.

He allegedly led police to her body.

While questioned in a cornfield, Rivera allegedly told Iowa officer Pamela Romero that he followed Tibbetts in his car, got out and started running behind her.

The 26-year-old told cops that Tibbetts "tried to slap him and was screaming at him," a cop has testified.

Rivera said that the 20-year-old student noticed him and tried to use her cell phone to call the police.

“He said that Mollie tried to slap him and was screaming at him,” Romero testified.

“Mr. Rivera said this is when he became angry.”

Blood found in the suspect's Chevy Malibu trunk "was a first match" for the slain student, a forensics expert testified last week.

When will Cristhian Bahena Rivera be sentenced?

Rivera will remain in the state's custody until sentencing as he's now facing life in prison.

Sentencing will take place at 9:30am on July 15, 2021, in Montezuma, Iowa.

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