State v. Hatter, No. 84-1298

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
Writing for the CourtSCHLEGEL
Citation381 N.W.2d 370
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Bruce Allen HATTER, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 84-1298
Decision Date26 November 1985

Page 370

381 N.W.2d 370
STATE of Iowa, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Bruce Allen HATTER, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 84-1298.
Court of Appeals of Iowa.
Nov. 26, 1985.

Mark C. Meyer of Kinnamon, Kinnamon, Russo & Meyer, Iowa City, for defendant-appellant.

Page 371

Thomas J. Miller, Atty. Gen., Joseph P. Weeg, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Harold Denton, Asst. Linn Co. Atty., for plaintiff-appellee.

Heard by DONIELSON, P.J., SCHLEGEL, and HAYDEN, JJ.

SCHLEGEL, Judge.

Defendant appeals his conviction of first degree kidnapping and sexual abuse. On appeal, he raises six issues the trial court erred in: (1) refusing to remove for cause, two jurors, one of whom was a rape victim; (2) refusing to prevent the State from impeaching the defendant with illegally obtained evidence, should defendant elect to testify at trial and deny the elements of the crime charged against him; (3) Iowa Code sections 710.1 and .2 are unconstitutionally vague on their face and as applied; (4) Iowa's sentence for first degree kidnapping violates the eighth amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment; (5) refusing to instruct the jury on the penalties upon conviction of the offense charged and of the lesser included offenses; and (6) in failing to include, in the marshalling instruction, the issue of whether the confinement or removal was "incidental" to the sexual abuse. We reverse on the first issue and affirm the remaining issues.

This is defendant's second trial on the basic underlying facts. The first conviction for the same offense was reversed on appeal for reasons not essential to this appeal in State v. Hatter, 342 N.W.2d 851 (Iowa 1983).

In the second trial, the victim testified, in essence, that on December 1, 1981, defendant forced her into her car at knifepoint and then drove her to a secluded rural area where he forced her to perform oral sex. She testified also that she recognized the defendant from a high school they both attended. Defendant then allowed the victim to drive back to his car, he got out and she returned to her home. Upon arriving home she told her father what happened. Her father then called the police, who on April 1, 1982, arrested the defendant for the kidnapping and sexual abuse of not only the victim herein, but also on the same charges allegedly perpetrated on another victim on March 31, 1982.

I. Challenges for Cause. Defendant alleges that the trial court erred in refusing to disqualify two jurors for cause, forcing him to use his peremptory strikes instead. One juror was a woman who stated that she had very serious reservations about her ability to act fairly and impartially due to the nature of the offense. She eventually relented, after questioning from the State, and indicated that she thought she could return a verdict based upon the evidence presented and instructions given by the court. The second juror was a rape victim. After her initial indication that she did not think she could render a fair and impartial verdict, she also succumbed to the prosecution's inquiries and eventually stated that she, too, could try to render a fair and impartial decision.

Defendant moved to have the trial court excuse the above jurors for cause. He based his motion upon the views each juror had initially expressed, and also upon the sixth and fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 6 and 10 of the Iowa Constitution, and on grounds of fundamental fairness. We agree with defendant that the juror who had been a rape victim should have been excused for cause.

In State v. Williams, 285 N.W.2d 248, 267 (Iowa 1979), we said:

Three principles govern our review of such questions. First, trial court is vested with broad, but not unlimited, discretion in ruling upon a challenge for cause. State v. Winfrey, 221 N.W.2d 269, 273 (Iowa 1974); State v. Beckwith, 242 Iowa 228, 232, 46 N.W.2d 20, 23 (1951); Dunahoo, The Scope of Judicial Discretion in the Iowa Criminal Law Procedure, 58 Iowa L.Rev. 1023, 1064-65 (1973). Second, a determination of a prospective juror's qualifications must rest upon the entire record of the examination. See State v. Beckwith, 242 Iowa at 238, 46

Page 372

N.W.2d at 26. Third, the trial court sits as judge of the facts on the question of existence of a ground for challenge. Tobin, Tobin & Tobin v. Budd, 217 Iowa 904, 919, 251 N.W. 720, 727 (1934).

As noted in the first principle, the trial court is vested with the discretion of whether or not to excuse a juror for cause. Winfrey, at 273. However, the supreme court in Beckwith said, "that trial courts should use the utmost caution in overruling challenges for cause in criminal cases when there appears to be a fair question as to their soundness." Beckwith, 46 N.W.2d at 26.

Although a ruling may be technically right, if it must be so doubtful as to raise a fair question as to its correctness, it is far better to give the accused the benefit of the doubt, to the end that he and all other men may be satisfied that his rights have not been invaded. Confidence in the fairness and impartiality of each member of a jury, which shall be sworn to try a man on a charge involving his life or liberty, is of the greatest importance to the welfare of the state. Indeed, it is of such paramount importance to every citizen that the time and expense necessary to secure jurors as to whom no doubt may rightly exist is an insignificant consideration.

Id.

The Iowa Rules of Criminal Procedure provide a list of factual circumstances which constitute a basis for which the trial court may sustain a challenge for cause. See Iowa R.Crim.P. 17.5(a)-(p). While the rules say that "a challenge for cause may be made" in one of the listed circumstances, the courts have consistently adhered to sustaining these challenges as a matter of course. See State v. Kuster, 353 N.W.2d 428, 433 (Iowa 1984). Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 17.5(m) states that a challenge for cause may be made against a juror who, "... is a defendant in a similar indictment, or complainant against the defendant or any other person indicted for a similar offense." In this case, the record is unclear whether or not the juror who was rape victim who had filed a complaint against another person. However, the similarities between the juror qualifications for challenges for cause in rule 17.5(m), and the juror who was a rape victim here are striking. They are so similar, in fact, that it can be said that it falls into the situation admonished by the Beckwith court where it is so doubtful "as to raise a fair question as to its correctness." 242 Iowa at 238-39, 46 N.W.2d at 26. Prejudice will be presumed when, as here, the defendant uses all of his peremptory challenges and uses one to remove the challenged juror. 242 Iowa at 232, 46 N.W.2d at 23. See also State v. Williams, 285 N.W.2d 248, 267 (Iowa 1979).

While the record is not verbatim, it is significant to note that the defense counsel, prosecutor, and trial court collaborated to make the record based on the testimony of the witnesses immediately after the conclusion of voir dire and all of the parties agreed it was complete and accurate. More importantly, however, because we base our holding on the background of the juror rather than what she specifically did or did not say, the completeness of the record is not decisive here.

II. Impeachment with Illegally Obtained Evidence. Defendant argues that the trial court erred when it ruled that the State would be allowed to use illegally obtained evidence for impeachment purposes should he decide to take the stand and deny the...

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11 practice notes
  • Hatter v. Warden, Iowa Men's Reformatory, No. C89-0062.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • April 17, 1990
    ...because the trial court abused its discretion in failing to excuse for cause a juror who had been a rape victim. See State v. Hatter, 381 N.W.2d 370 (Iowa App.1985) (Hatter Facts The basic facts of the crime for which petitioner was convicted are not disputed. The primary witness against pe......
  • State Of Iowa v. Hanes, No. 08-1231.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 12, 2010
    ...the punishment to be inflicted into account, in passing on the issue as to the guilt or innocence of the accused.”); State v. Hatter, 381 N.W.2d 370, 375 (Iowa Ct.App.1985). As the court of appeals has explained, “a trial has one purpose-to seek the truth,” and “[p]enalties have nothing to ......
  • State v. Tryon, No. 87-1089
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • August 24, 1988
    ...420 U.S. 714, 95 S.Ct. 1215, 43 L.Ed.2d 570 (1975); Harris v. New York, 401 U.S. 222, 91 S.Ct. 643, 28 L.Ed.2d 1 (1971); State v. Hatter, 381 N.W.2d 370, 372-74 (Iowa App.1985); State v. Donelson, 302 N.W.2d 125, 131-34 (Iowa 1981). Both the seventh and fifth circuits have held a psychiatri......
  • State v. Hanes, No. 9-583/08-1231 (Iowa App. 8/19/2009), No. 9-583/08-1231
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • August 19, 2009
    ...in cases like that." Page 10 A district court should not instruct a jury on the applicable penalties in a case. State v. Hatter, 381 N.W.2d 370, 375 (Iowa Ct. App. 1985). "The jury has no concern with the punishment which the law prescribes." State v. Piper, 663 N.W.2d 894, 915 (Iowa 2003) ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Hatter v. Warden, Iowa Men's Reformatory, No. C89-0062.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • April 17, 1990
    ...because the trial court abused its discretion in failing to excuse for cause a juror who had been a rape victim. See State v. Hatter, 381 N.W.2d 370 (Iowa App.1985) (Hatter Facts The basic facts of the crime for which petitioner was convicted are not disputed. The primary witness against pe......
  • State Of Iowa v. Hanes, No. 08-1231.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 12, 2010
    ...the punishment to be inflicted into account, in passing on the issue as to the guilt or innocence of the accused.”); State v. Hatter, 381 N.W.2d 370, 375 (Iowa Ct.App.1985). As the court of appeals has explained, “a trial has one purpose-to seek the truth,” and “[p]enalties have nothing to ......
  • State v. Tryon, No. 87-1089
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • August 24, 1988
    ...420 U.S. 714, 95 S.Ct. 1215, 43 L.Ed.2d 570 (1975); Harris v. New York, 401 U.S. 222, 91 S.Ct. 643, 28 L.Ed.2d 1 (1971); State v. Hatter, 381 N.W.2d 370, 372-74 (Iowa App.1985); State v. Donelson, 302 N.W.2d 125, 131-34 (Iowa 1981). Both the seventh and fifth circuits have held a psychiatri......
  • State v. Vargason, No. 89-566
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • September 26, 1990
    ...not affect her consideration. Defendant was forced to use a peremptory challenge to remove the juror. Defendant cites State v. Hatter, 381 N.W.2d 370 (Iowa App.1985), to support his Because of our holding, we need not address the issue. The trial court has large but not unlimited discretion......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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