In Iowa, a Life sentence means a lifetime in prison without the possibility of parole. Lifers are only able to apply for commutation every ten years. Commutation gives the Governor the chance to change a life sentence into a certain number of years. Many of the women in The Grey Area do have life sentences and are in the process of applying for commutation.
Letters in Iowa can be sent to the Iowa Board of Parole or the office of Governor Terry Branstad: