State v. Saltzman, No. 47625

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtOLIVER; GARFIELD; MANTZ; The majority opinion treats the statement made by Saltzman to the officers as a confession. We call attention to the language of this court in the case of State v. Cook, supra. There Weaver; In this connection I desire to cal
Citation16 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 1595,44 N.W.2d 24,241 Iowa 1373
Decision Date19 September 1950
Docket NumberNo. 47625
PartiesSTATE v. SALTZMAN.

Page 24

44 N.W.2d 24
241 Iowa 1373
STATE

v.
SALTZMAN.
No. 47625.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Sept. 19, 1950.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 18, 1950.

Page 25

[241 Iowa 1375] Charles P. Howard, of Des Moines, for appellant.

Robert L. Larson, Attorney General, Don Hise, First Assistant Attorney General, Ed. S. Thayer, County Attorney, and Waldo F. Wheeler, Assistant County Attorney, Des Moines, for appellee.

OLIVER, Justice.

The indictment charged defendant transported intoxicating liquor from the State of Nebraska into the State of Iowa in violation of section 125.26, Code of Iowa 1946, I.C.A. Trial resulted in his conviction and this appeal.

No evidence was offered by defendant and there was no substantial conflict in the evidence of the state. On the evening of March 9, 1949, a Buick sedanette, immediately followed by a Ford, stopped across from and under the floodlights of the Tankar Oil Co. filling station, just north of Des Moines on Highway 69 (East 14th St.). The Buick was heavily loaded in the back. The trunk was partly open and appeared to be loaded with boxes or suitcases or 'something of that sort.' Defendant and another man were in the Buick. Defendant got out 'and then he came running across the street' to the filling station. 'Well, he seemed to be frightened.' 'He said 'call the police'.' '* * * he was being hijacked.' He made the call himself and 'I heard him say 'Operator', and give him the police.' Then he made a second telephone call to someone and said 'he had lost his stuff.'

Leo Leonard, a State Highway Patrolman, heard the police radio call and drove to the filling station. When he arrived defendant was 'just hanging up the receiver on the telephone.' In the meantime, the Fore car had 'pushed the Buick away, north.' A station attendant prepared to follow the cars in his automobile to get the license number of the Ford but hesitated [241 Iowa 1376] when defendant said 'they had a gun.' When the attendant started in pursuit, their tail lights were still visible but he was unable to catch them 'before they got over the hill' and vanished. Defendant said the Buick belonged to him. 'He said at the oil station he jerked the keys out and opened the door and ran into the oil station. In the meantime one of the fellows * * * the man in the back car * * * ran and jerked the trunk of the Buick open and the other fellow says, 'not here', so they pushed it on away.'

Patrolman Leonard testified: '* * * we wanted to get out and get that car. That was the main thing.' 'I asked him (defendant) to get in the car and we took out in what direction we thought they might have gone, and at that time he told me he had a load of government liquor in the car.' Defendant gave Leonard the license number of his car and Leonard 'called it in' by radio. Soon the radio broadcast the news it had been found. They drove to the scene and defendant said it was his car. The trunk was open but there was nothing in it nor elsewhere in the car.

The car was then returned to the filling station where defendant gave a more detailed

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account of the hijacking and surrounding circumstances, stating he was bringing from Omaha, Nebraska, eleven cases of whiskey and alcohol, two men stopped him in Des Moines, he described their car and said it bore a foreign license plate, they followed him across the city, finally hijacked his liquor at the filling station and threatened to kill him when he went back to the second car to obtain the license number. Defendant voluntarily repeated this recital several times. Two deputy sheriffs and other officers were present.

Deputy Sheriff Hildreth testified, after this I 'asked him to come down to the county jail, if he would be willing to make a statement of the events that happened, which he said he would be glad to, and Highway Patrolman Leo Leonard and myself took a statement from Mr. Saltzman (defendant) at the Polk County jail that evening.' Hildreth did the questioning and Leonard the typing, and the statement was read by defendant who said it was 'true and correct but he didn't wish to sign it.'

The statement, Exhibit 'A', recites in part: [241 Iowa 1377] 'I left Omaha * * * with a load of liquor designated as follows: 3 cases of alcohol, 2 cases of Scotch, 1 case of Canadian Club, 4 cases of Paul Jones and 1 case of Kinsey. This liquor was purchased at the Lone Star Liquor Co., * * * for the amount of $565. * * * I followed Highway 6 from Omaha, Neb. into Des Moines, Ia. until I came to West 6th or 6th Ave. then turned north to Madison and east to 14th or U. S. 69 and then north to the Tanker Oil Station where my car was taken from me. I ran into the station, using their telephone to notify the authorities of the incident. These two fellows which hijacked me first stopped me when I reached Madison St. telling me they were state men. One entered my car while the other followed directing me east on Madison and north on E. 14th where my car was taken from me. I arrived in Des Moines from Omaha around 7:30 P. M. 3-9-49.'

The instrument was dated and signed by the two officers with the notation that Saltzman refused to sign but 'states the above is true.'

I. Defendant assigns as error the admission of the statement, Exhibit 'A', in evidence over his objection that it was not signed by him. Although no decision of this court has been called to our attention it has been generally held, in the absence of contrary statutory provisions that such a written statement, if otherwise proved to have been made by a defendant, is admissible although not signed by him. Prather v. State, 76 Okl.Cr. 385, 137 P.2d 249; Bosko v. People, 68 Colo. 256, 188 P. 743; State v. Haworth, 24 Utah 398, 68 P. 155, 156; State v. Foulds, 127 N.J.L. 336, 23 A.2d 895, 897; State v. Folkes, 174 Or. 568, 150 P.2d 17, 20, certiorari denied 323 U.S. 779, 65 S.Ct. 189, 89 L.Ed. 622; Mobley v. State, Ind.Sup., 85 N.E.2d 489; Gray v. Commonwealth, 293 Ky. 833, 170 S.W.2d 870; Haines v. State, 158 Fla. 9, 27 So.2d 414; 22 C.J.S., Criminal Law, § 833, p. 1456. The objection was properly overruled.

II. Error is predicated upon the overruling of defendant's motion for directed verdict based upon the insufficiency of the evidence to warrant a conviction. Section 782.7, Code of Iowa 1946, I.C.A., provides: 'The confession of the defendant, unless [241 Iowa 1378] made in open court, will not warrant a conviction, unless accompanied with other proof that the offense was committed.'

The required 'other proof' of the corpus delicti may be by circumstantial evidence as well as by direct evidence. State v. Novak, 109 Iowa 717, 734, 735, 79 N.W. 465; State v. Henricksen, 214 Iowa 1077, 1082, 243 N.W. 521; State v. Townsend, 191 Iowa 362, 364, 365, 182 N.W. 392; State v. Kelley, 193 Iowa 62, 66, 186 N.W. 834; 20 Am.Jur. 1084, Evidence § 1231; 23 C.J.S., Criminal Law, § 916 c, p. 185.

Exhibit 'A' contained all the essential elements of the crime charged. Hence, it was a confession within the purview of the statute. State v. Webb, 239 Iowa 693, 700, 31 N.W.2d 337; State v. Hofer, 238 Iowa 820, 28 N.W.2d 475; State v. Davis, 212 Iowa 131, 134, 235 N.W. 759.

At this point the question is whether the confession was accompanied with other proof that the offense was committed, as required by the statute. Our decisions

Page 27

have said the statute accords with the general rule in this country that an extrajudicial confession must be corroborated by other proof. State v. Webb, 239 Iowa 693, 702, 31 N.W.2d 337, 342. This other evidence need not of itself, and independent of the confession, be sufficient to prove the commission of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. It is sufficient if, when considered with the confession, it establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime was in fact committed by someone. State v. Westcott, 130 Iowa 1, 8, 104 N.W. 341, 343; State v. Stewart, 231 Iowa 585, 588, 1 N.W.2d 626; State v. Henricksen, 214 Iowa 1077, 243 N.W. 521; Evans v. U. S., 10 Cir., 122 F.2d 461, certiorari denied 314 U.S. 698, 62 S.Ct. 478, 86 L.Ed. 558; 20 Am.Jur. 1085 and 1086, Evidence, §§ 1233 and 1234; 22 C.J.S., Criminal Law, § 839, pp. 1474-1477; 23 C.J.S., Criminal Law, § 916, pp. 184-185.

State v. Webb, 239 Iowa 693, 703, 31 N.W.2d 337, 342, states: '* * * The required 'other proof' is perhaps not strictly corroborative but rather supplemental. The language of the statute is somewhat significant. It does not mention 'corroboration' but [241 Iowa 1379] says 'unless accompanied by [with] other proof,' * * * that some one is guilty.'

The crime of illegal transportation of liquor into the state is essentially a continuing act, not confined in its scope to the single instant of passage across a state boundary. Gregg v. U. S., 8 Cir., 113 F.2d 687, 691. In this case defendant's criminal act would continue until the hijackers took control of the transportation.

The text in 20 Am.Jur. 1086, Evidence, § 1233, states: 'The grounds on which the rule requiring independent proof of the corpus delicti rests are the hasty and unguarded character which confessions often have, the temptation which for one reason or another a person may have to say that which he thinks it most for his interest to say, whether true or false, the liability which there is to misconstrue or report inaccurately what has been said, the danger of a conviction when no crime may have been committed, the difficulty of disproving what may be said, and the feeling that the rule best accords with the humanity of the criminal law and with the great degree of caution applied in receiving and weighing the evidence of confessions in other cases.' See Commonwealth v. Killion, 194 Mass. 153, 80 N.E. 222, 10 Ann.Cas. 911.

Most of the evidence in this case concerns what transpired during the period beginning with the arrival of defendant's car and the hijackers' car at the filling station and ending with defendant's final departure from there, a short time later. This...

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21 practice notes
  • People v. Murray
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (New York)
    • July 13, 1976
    ...confessions stemming from the possibilities that a confession may have been erroneously reported or construed (see State v. Saltzman, 241 Iowa 1373, 1379, 44 N.W.2d 24; Commonwealth v. Turza, 340 Pa. 128, 134, 16 A.2d 401), involuntarily made (see, e.g., Brown v. Walker, 161 U.S. 591, 596--......
  • State v. Conner, No. 57552
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 14, 1976
    ...pretrial motion to suppress, the Page 456 trial court told the State the statement was inadmissible as hearsay. Cf. State v. Saltzman, 241 Iowa 1373, 1377, 44 N.W.2d 24, 26 BCI agent Elliott testified about the typing of the document and defendant's refusal to sign it after it was read to h......
  • State v. Rutledge, No. 47601
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 4, 1951
    ...not prejudice the jury. We agree with this conclusion. State v. Bell, 235 Iowa 767, 770, et seq., 16 N.W.2d 218; State v. Saltzman, Iowa, 44 N.W.2d 24, Having thus disposed of the complaint the trial court found it unnecessary to determine the contention of the prosecution the statement was......
  • State v. Hauk, No. 01-1668-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • August 1, 2002
    ...See Warszower v. United States, 312 U.S. 342, 347 (1941); Castillo v. State, 614 P.2d 756, 759 (Alaska 1980); State v. Saltzman, 44 N.W.2d 24, 28-29 (Iowa 1950); State v. Pietrzak, 41 P.3d 1240, 1245-46 (Wash. Ct. App. 2002). This suggests that the context of the confession is important. In......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
21 cases
  • State v. Conner, No. 57552
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 14, 1976
    ...pretrial motion to suppress, the Page 456 trial court told the State the statement was inadmissible as hearsay. Cf. State v. Saltzman, 241 Iowa 1373, 1377, 44 N.W.2d 24, 26 BCI agent Elliott testified about the typing of the document and defendant's refusal to sign it after it was read to h......
  • State v. Hauk, No. 01-1668-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • August 1, 2002
    ...See Warszower v. United States, 312 U.S. 342, 347 (1941); Castillo v. State, 614 P.2d 756, 759 (Alaska 1980); State v. Saltzman, 44 N.W.2d 24, 28-29 (Iowa 1950); State v. Pietrzak, 41 P.3d 1240, 1245-46 (Wash. Ct. App. 2002). This suggests that the context of the confession is important. In......
  • State v. Rutledge, No. 47601
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 4, 1951
    ...not prejudice the jury. We agree with this conclusion. State v. Bell, 235 Iowa 767, 770, et seq., 16 N.W.2d 218; State v. Saltzman, Iowa, 44 N.W.2d 24, Having thus disposed of the complaint the trial court found it unnecessary to determine the contention of the prosecution the statement was......
  • State v. Dunn, No. 54935
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 29, 1972
    ...with other elements of the offense, by circumstantial evidence.' Curtis, Law of Arson, § 486, pages 528--529. See State v. Saltzman, 241 Iowa 1373, 1377, 44 N.W.2d 24; State v. Whisler, 231 Iowa 1216, 1219--1220, 3 N.W.2d 'The facts which are presented to show the responsibility of the defe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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