State Sen. Brad Zaun (R-Polk) has an important role in the Iowa Senate serving as chair of the Judiciary Committee. He talked about a few issues that he expects to address this session and a few that may be down the road a bit.
“There’s been a lot of talk about sentencing reform and felons voting and ban the box,” Zaun said. “One thing I will tell you is that the victims are going to be heard through the process in the Judiciary Committee. I know that some of these are the Governor’s proposals, and I’ve been having conversations with the Governor in regard to this, but we are not going to forget about the victims. And there might be a situation where we might need to strengthen some of the penalties for some of the heinous crimes in the state of Iowa.’
As for the death penalty, Zaun noted that a bill to restore the death penalty in cases of kidnap, rape and murder of a minor in Iowa passed through committee last year. He said he’s also had a bill in the past that states if someone kills a peace officer in the line of duty, they could receive the death penalty.
“But I don’t plan on moving that bill this year,” he said. “It’s obviously very controversial.”
One other possibility that may not happen in 2020 is addressing the punishment for rapists in Iowa.
“I would even entertain chemical castration for rapists,” Zaun said. “I don’t know that I’ll do that this year, but if someone wanted to do that, it would certainly be something I’d be interested in looking at.”