State v. Traas, No. 45565.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtBLISS
Citation298 N.W. 862,230 Iowa 826
PartiesSTATE v. TRAAS.
Decision Date17 June 1941
Docket NumberNo. 45565.

230 Iowa 826
298 N.W. 862

STATE
v.
TRAAS.

No. 45565.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

June 17, 1941.


Appeal from District Court, Hancock County; M. H. Kepler, Judge.

The defendant was tried on an indictment charging him with the crime of arson in the burning of a dwelling house, owned by another, and occupied by himself and family. The State appeals from a judgment for the defendant entered on a verdict of “not guilty” returned at the direction of the court, at the close of all of the evidence.

Reversed.

[298 N.W. 863]

John M. Rankin, Atty. Gen., Jens Grothe, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Clark E. Lovrien, Co. Atty., and Frank W. Senneff, Sp. Prosecutor, both of Britt, for appellant.

L. R. Boomhower, of Mason City, for appellee.


BLISS, Justice.

The defendant operated a restaurant and beer tavern in a two-story frame building in the town of Crystal Lake, Hancock County, Iowa. In addition to the rooms occupied by the family, he kept two or three rooms for occasional transients. He owned the stock of merchandise, the furniture, counters and other equipment used in his business, and also his household goods. The building and its contents were totally destroyed by fire in the very early morning of June 2, 1940, shortly after he had closed, a little after midnight. He was charged with willfully and maliciously burning the property. He was indicted for the burning of the building. Shortly after the trial, a County Attorney's information was filed charging him with the felonious burning of the contents of the building. The trial of the latter charge is awaiting our decision of this appeal. It is because of the pending charge and trial that the State is strenuously urging us to review the record and to pass upon the errors assigned for reversal.

[1] While the State may appeal from a judgment adverse to it in a criminal case (1939 Code, Section 13994), the decision of this court, on such an appeal, is circumscribed by Section 14012, which provides: “If the state appeals, the supreme court cannot reverse or modify the judgment so as to increase the punishment, but may affirm it, and shall point out any error in the proceedings or in the measure of punishment, and its decision shall be obligatory as law.” Under the provisions of this section and our decisions, the judgment of the trial court is a finality with respect to the discharge of the defendant. He cannot again be tried for the offense charged in that indictment. State v. Kinney, 44 Iowa 444;State v. Vail, 57 Iowa 103, 10 N.W. 297;State v. Ford, 161 Iowa 323, 142 N.W. 984;State v. Jackson, 128 Iowa 543, 105 N.W. 51;

[298 N.W. 864]

State v. Gilbert, 138 Iowa 335, 116 N.W. 142;State v. Keeler, 28 Iowa 551;State v. Johnson, 157 Iowa 248, 138 N.W. 458;State v. Kirkman, 206 Iowa 364, 220 N.W. 57;State v. Woodruff, 208 Iowa 236, 225 N.W. 254;State v. Meyer, 203 Iowa 694, 213 N.W. 220;State v. Dietz, 162 Iowa 332, 143 N.W. 1080.

[2][3] As stated in some of the above-mentioned cases, and in others, this court, in appeals by the State in criminal cases, has generally refused to review the testimony as a whole to determine whether the trial court erred in ruling that the evidence was insufficient to justify a submission of the case to the jury. Since the defendant cannot be again tried for the same offense, it would serve no purpose to pass upon errors respecting matters of fact which could be of no benefit in the trial of criminal cases in the future. State v. Little, 210 Iowa 371, 228 N.W. 67;State v. Friend, 213 Iowa 544, 239 N.W. 132;State v. Tibbetts, 213 Iowa 552, 239 N.W. 133;State v. Niehaus, 209 Iowa 533, 228 N.W. 308; State v. Gilbert, supra; State v. Kirkman, supra; State v. Mackey, 82 Iowa 393, 48 N.W. 918. But as also stated in the cases cited, if the appeal involves questions of law, either substantive or procedural, whose determination will be beneficial generally, or guide the trial courts in the future,...

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15 practice notes
  • State v. Hill, No. 48148
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 10, 1953
    ...guide for trial courts in the future. The appeal is proper under the following decisions and authorities cited therein. State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 828, 298 N.W. 862; State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 543-544, 1 N.W.2d 690; State v. Kellison, 233 Iowa 1274, 1276, 11 N.W.2d 371; State v. Rei......
  • Iowa v. Buckley, No. 1--56537
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • August 29, 1975
    ...371 (1943); State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 1 N.W.2d 690 (1942); State v. Wickett, 230 Iowa 1182, 300 N.W. 268 (1941); State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 298 N.W. 862 (1941); State v. Woodruff, 208 Iowa 236, 225 N.W. 254 (1929); State v. Patton, 206 Iowa 1347, 221 N.W. 952 (1928); State v. Kirkm......
  • State v. Wickett, No. 45705.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 21, 1941
    ...208 Iowa 236, 225 N.W. 254;State v. Little, 210 Iowa 371, 228 N.W. 67;State v. Friend, 213 Iowa 544, 239 N.W. 132;State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 298 N.W. 862;State v. Meyer, 203 Iowa 694, 213 N.W. 220;State v. Johnson, 157 Iowa 248, 138 N.W. 458;State v. Fairmont Creamery Co., 153 Iowa 702, ......
  • State v. Allen, No. 64796
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 15, 1981
    ...State v. De Marce, 237 Iowa 648, 23 N.W.2d 441 (1946) (directed verdict based on mistaken assignment of burden of proof); State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 298 N.W. 862 (1941) (directed verdict under erroneous sufficiency of evidence test); State v. Dillard, 225 Iowa 915, 281 N.W. 842 (1938) (d......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
15 cases
  • State v. Hill, No. 48148
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 10, 1953
    ...guide for trial courts in the future. The appeal is proper under the following decisions and authorities cited therein. State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 828, 298 N.W. 862; State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 543-544, 1 N.W.2d 690; State v. Kellison, 233 Iowa 1274, 1276, 11 N.W.2d 371; State v. Rei......
  • Iowa v. Buckley, No. 1--56537
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • August 29, 1975
    ...371 (1943); State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 1 N.W.2d 690 (1942); State v. Wickett, 230 Iowa 1182, 300 N.W. 268 (1941); State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 298 N.W. 862 (1941); State v. Woodruff, 208 Iowa 236, 225 N.W. 254 (1929); State v. Patton, 206 Iowa 1347, 221 N.W. 952 (1928); State v. Kirkm......
  • State v. Wickett, No. 45705.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 21, 1941
    ...208 Iowa 236, 225 N.W. 254;State v. Little, 210 Iowa 371, 228 N.W. 67;State v. Friend, 213 Iowa 544, 239 N.W. 132;State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 298 N.W. 862;State v. Meyer, 203 Iowa 694, 213 N.W. 220;State v. Johnson, 157 Iowa 248, 138 N.W. 458;State v. Fairmont Creamery Co., 153 Iowa 702, ......
  • State v. Allen, No. 64796
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 15, 1981
    ...State v. De Marce, 237 Iowa 648, 23 N.W.2d 441 (1946) (directed verdict based on mistaken assignment of burden of proof); State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 298 N.W. 862 (1941) (directed verdict under erroneous sufficiency of evidence test); State v. Dillard, 225 Iowa 915, 281 N.W. 842 (1938) (d......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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