State v. Williams, 58421

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtHeard by MOORE; REYNOLDSON
Citation243 N.W.2d 658
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Rasberry (NMN) WILLIAMS, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 58421,58421
Decision Date30 June 1976

Page 658

243 N.W.2d 658
80 A.L.R.3d 862
STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
Rasberry (NMN) WILLIAMS, Appellant.
No. 58421.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
June 30, 1976.

Page 659

Walter W. Rothschild, Waterloo, for appellant.

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., Earl W. Roberts, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., and David J. Dutton, County Atty., for appellee.



July 20, 1974, defendant Rasberry Williams fatally shot Lester 'lamp Light' Givhan in front of George's Pool Hall in Waterloo, Iowa. This daytime incident resulted from a quarrel over a claimed indebtedness and was witnessed by several persons, some of whom attempted to dissuade defendant. The facts surrounding the crime have no further significance: the only issues raised concern trial court's adverse rulings on defendant's motion for psychiatric examination at State expense, and his objections to the petit jury panel. We affirm his first degree murder conviction.

I. Should trial court have ordered a psychiatric examination at State expense.?

Defendant argues trial court's failure to provide him with a psychiatric examination constituted an abuse of discretion in depriving him of his statutory right under § 775.5, The Code, and violated his constitutional rights to effective counsel, due process and equal protection.

The constitutional rights of effective assistance of counsel and equal protection, preserved for an accused by both the federal and state constitutions, are implemented in Iowa by § 775.4 and § 775.5, The Code. State v. Campbell, 215 N.W.2d 227, 229 (Iowa 1974). We have consistenlty construed those statutes to carry out the constitutional objectives. See Schmidt v. Uhlenhopp, 258 Iowa 771, 140 N.W.2d 118 (1966) (defendant entitled to court-appointed counsel despite his mother's deposit of cash in lieu of bail); State v. Miller, 204 N.W.2d 834, 844 (Iowa 1973) (appointed attorney is entitled to reasonable compensation); Woodbury County v. Anderson, 164 N.W.2d 129, 132 (Iowa 1969) (the court making the appointment determines the extent of the county's liability, leaving no discretion to the county officers); Furey v. Crawford County, 208 N.W.2d 15 (Iowa 1973) (trial court's determination of reasonable compensation is reviewed in this court on original writ of certiorari).

In State v. Hancock, 164 N.W.2d 330, 332 (Iowa 1969) we said a court-appointed attorney should not be required to incur personal expenses in preparing and conducting a meaningful and conscientious defense for the accused. We there held trial court erroneously overruled defendant's application for funds to obtain an independent expert analysis of her handwriting for comparison with the allegedly forged check. Id. at 333.

We reversed again in State v. Campbell, supra, for trial court's refusal to provide a transcript of the trial of an alleged accomplice, stating, 215 N.W.2d at 229, the right to effective counsel 'means not only providing defendant with a lawyer; it also means providing that lawyer with the opportunity--in both time and tools--to perform his often onerous task competently and conscientiously.'

We held requests for such trial preparation assistance must be on a showing the

Page 660

expense was 'necessary in the interest of justice.' State v. Williams, 207 N.W.2d 98, 105 (Iowa 1973); State v. Hancock, supra, 164 N.W.2d at 332. In a related decision based solely on equal protection we ruled no showing of necessity was required when the issue was the availability of a transcript of a pre-trial proceeding in defendant's case:

'(E)qual protection requires that a verbatim record be made of preliminary hearing at public expense, when timely requested by an indigent defendant, unless the State shows a record of sufficient completeness can otherwise be kept.'

--State v. Lewis, 215 N.W.2d 293, 295 (Iowa 1974).

Finally, in State v. McGhee, 220 N.W.2d 908, 913 (Iowa 1974) we articulated the definitive standard to be applied in considering an application for psychiatric evaluation. The McGhee standard, Inter alia, requires trial court to give considerable weight to the application but permits it to 'effect an objective evaluation * * * taking into consideration all relevant factors, including but not limited to (a) defendant's prior medical history as to any mental or emotional instability, (b) his past conduct, and (c) defendant's apparent mental state and demeanor as observed by the trial judge.' 220 N.W.2d at 913. We there said:

'If trial court, focusing upon needs of defense counsel, finds the application is reasonable then it should be granted, but if found to be frivolous, unreasonable or Without underlying factual support then a denial is in order.' (Emphasis supplied.)


In this case defendant filed four applications for psychiatric evaluation. He concedes his first did not comply with the requirements of McGhee and was properly denied. The second application alleged counsel had learned defendant sustained a head injury 'approximately two years ago which they believe to be an important factor in defendant's alleged behavior.'

Upon defendant's written application the court made an...

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  • State v. Lohr, 60994
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • May 17, 1978
    ...discretion in formulating such plans. Taylor, 419 U.S. at 537-538, 95 S.Ct. at 701; Brewer, 247 N.W.2d at 209-210; State v. Williams, 243 N.W.2d 658, 662 (Iowa 1976). All affirmatively required by the Sixth Amendment is a system likely to result in representative jury panels. Taylor, 419 U.......
  • Dolezal v. City of Cedar Rapids, 66997
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    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 24, 1982
    ...431. Although imposition of notice and timeliness requirements on all claims may be a salutory objective, see Dan Dugan Transport Co., 243 N.W.2d at 658, we search for legislative intent in what the legislature said, not what it might or should have said. Johnson v. Nelson, 275 N.W.2d 427, ......
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    • March 19, 1980
    ...the trial judge. If the request is found to be frivolous or without underlying factual support, a denial is in order. State v. Williams, 243 N.W.2d 658, 660 (Iowa 1976); State v. McGhee, 220 N.W.2d 908, 913 (Iowa 1974). Under this standard, trial counsel's decision (if a conscious one) to d......
  • State v. Brewer, 58913
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    • November 17, 1976 denied his right to a proper jury. Ballard v. United States, 329 U.S. 187, 67 S.Ct. 261, 91 L.Ed. 181.' See also State v. Williams, 243 N.W.2d 658, 662 (Iowa 1976); State v. King, 225 N.W.2d 337, 341--342 (Iowa 1975); Beyer, supra; 47 Am.Jur.2d, Jury, § 163, pp. 756--757; Wharton's Crimi......
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