State v. Williams, 59631

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtRichard C. Turner, Atty. Gen.; Considered by MOORE; LeGRAND
Citation264 N.W.2d 779
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Jon Robert WILLIAMS, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 59631,59631
Decision Date19 April 1978

Page 779

264 N.W.2d 779
STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
Jon Robert WILLIAMS, Appellant.
No. 59631.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
April 19, 1978.
Rehearing Denied June 23, 1978.

Page 780

Johnson & Phelan, Fort Madison, and Pritzker & Glass, Ltd., Chicago, Ill., for appellant.

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., J. Susan Carney, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Jack W. Dooley, County Atty., for appellee.


LeGRAND, Justice.

A jury convicted defendant of delivery of a controlled substance (cocaine) in violation of § 204.401(1), The Code, 1973. A later accommodation hearing under § 204.410 resulted in a finding the delivery was for profit. Defendant was sentenced to a term of not more than ten years in the men's reformatory and fined $1,000.00. He appeals from this judgment, and we affirm.

The appeal presents two issues. First, defendant alleges §§ 607.2 and 609.2, The Code, unconstitutionally deprived him of his right to trial by an impartial jury as guaranteed by both the federal and state constitutions. His second complaint asserts he

Page 781

was denied due process of law as guaranteed by the 5th and 14th amendments to the federal constitution because of unreasonable delay in prosecuting him.

I. At the time of the events in question, the two challenged statutes were in part as follows:

"s 607.2 Exemption. The following persons are exempt from liability to act as jurors:

1. Persons holding office under the laws of the United States or of this state.

2. Practicing attorneys, physicians, licensed embalmers, registered nurses, chiropractors, osteopaths, veterinarians, registered pharmacists, dentists, and clergymen, including Christian Science practitioners and readers.

3. Acting professors or teachers of any college, school, or other institution of learning.

4. Persons disabled by bodily infirmity.

5. Persons over sixty-five years of age.

6. Active members of any fire company.

7. Persons conscientiously opposed to acting as a juror because of religious faith."

Section 609.2 Non Eligible Names:

"The appointive commission, in the preparation of said (jury) lists, shall not place thereon the name of any person:

9. Who has been exempted by law from jury service."

Defendant contends he was denied trial by an impartial jury because § 607.2, as implemented by § 609.2, removes from potential jury service a sizeable portion of the population of Johnson County. This, he argues, made it impossible to pick a jury from a cross section of the population which would be representative of the community as a whole.

We recently overruled a somewhat similar contention in State v. Brewer, 247 N.W.2d 205, 209-10 (Iowa 1976), where we held § 607.2 valid against attack on the statutory scheme for selecting juries as being unconstitutional on its face. Defendant's claim here is different. He does not argue the per se unconstitutionality of the statute but insists it is invalid as applied to him under the particular facts of this case.

He zeroes in particularly, but not exclusively, on the statutory exclusion of all teachers and professors, pointing out this group is much more numerous in Johnson County than elsewhere because it is the seat of the University of Iowa. In an apparent effort to escape the impact of Brewer, he urges on us the rationale of Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522, 537, 95 S.Ct. 692, 701, 42 L.Ed.2d 690, 702 (1975), where the court said:

"What is a fair cross section at one time or place is not necessarily a fair cross section at another time or a different place."

In Brewer, we reviewed the principles applicable to defendant's right to an impartial jury. There we stated again the rule that petit juries must be drawn from a representative cross section of the community to assure a defendant his "fundamental right to a fair and impartial jury." However, this does not deny the state the right to exempt certain classes from jury service on reasonable grounds as long as the remaining eligible group is "representative of the community." State v. Brewer, 247 N.W.2d at 209-10; State v. Williams, 243 N.W.2d 658, 662 (Iowa 1976).

Defendant relies heavily on Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522, 95 S.Ct. 692, 42 L.Ed.2d 690 (1975) and Carter v. Jury Commission of Greene County, 396 U.S. 320, 332, 90 S.Ct. 518, 525, 24 L.Ed.2d 549, 557-58 (1970). These cases, too, lay down the above principles, placing particular stress on exclusions based on race and sex, matters not present in the case under consideration.

The authority of states to determine the qualifications of jurors is of long standing. See Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U.S. 638, 26 S.Ct. 560, 50 L.Ed. 899, 900 (1906). The

Page 782

principles announced there were cited with approval as recently as Taylor, where the court said:

"The states are free to grant exemptions from jury service to individuals in case of special hardship or incapacity and to those engaged in particular occupations the uninterrupted performance of which is critical to the community's welfare. Rawlins v. Georgia, 201 U.S. 638, 26 S.Ct. 560, 50 L.Ed. 899 (1906)." 419 U.S. at 534, 95 S.Ct. at 700, 42 L.Ed.2d at 700.

Defendant's argument is that our statutory exclusions cannot pass that test as applied to him. However, he has no solid ground for this complaint because the trial court found (and defendant admitted) that the persons exempt under the statutes were not excluded from the lists drawn by the commission.

We quote from defendant's motion to quash the jury panel:

"The present jury commission * * * has deliberately and knowingly ignored the provisions of §§ 607.2 and 609.2 by placing on said panel of petit jurors individuals 'exempted by law from jury service.' Said action by the jury commission clearly violates §§ 607.2 and 609.2,...

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    • April 9, 2021
    ...missing as a result of the delay, he must show the witness would have provided material evidence for the defense."); State v. Williams , 264 N.W.2d 779, 783 (Iowa 1978) ("Actual prejudice must be both alleged and proved."). Brown highlights that actual prejudice is a necessary threshold in ......
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