Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fresh Law

The Iowa Court of Appeals decided, like, a gagillion cases today. And because I spent my time stating the obvious I don't have any left to blog on them. Dammit.

Well, there's a bunch of criminal cases, including this case in which a homeowner forced to leave his home by court order based on a domestic abuse charge tries to sue the state for a "taking". Sort story: he lost. There's also an interesting fight over a family farm that you'll need a score card to keep up with. It spawned both a dissent and a special concurrence, so you know they had a hard time making up their minds.

Oh, and there's a criminal case in which this was the basis for a stop:
On December 11, 2004, between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m., Reserve Deputy Eric Goemaat witnessed a vehicle come to a stop on the side of a rural gravel road approximately one-eighth of a mile from his home. Watching through binoculars from his home, the reserve deputy saw a person walk in front of the vehicle’s headlights. The vehicle remained stationary for approximately eight minutes. It then continued down the road and turned into a farm driveway that led to the home of Deputy Sheriff Ronald Goemaat. Eric Goemaat is Ronald Goemaat’s son. Eric Goemaat called his father and told him a vehicle that “looked suspicious” was coming up his driveway. The reserve deputy did not tell his father that he observed any crime or traffic violations being committed by the driver of the vehicle.

After visiting with his son on the phone, Deputy Goemaat looked out his window and saw a vehicle pull into the yard at the end of his quarter-mile-long driveway. The vehicle stopped for a few seconds, turned around, and headed back down the driveway. The deputy’s fully marked patrol vehicle was parked in the yard and illuminated by a yard light. Deputy Goemaat left his house, got into his patrol vehicle, turned on the “bar lights,” and followed the vehicle back to the gravel road, where the driver, Michael McIntosh, pulled over. McIntosh was subsequently arrested and charged with OWI in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2 (2003).

1) It was insufficient.
2) I think there was more to the story than that? I somehow doubt both of them spend all their free time looking out their windows with binoculars, or stopping any car that uses their driveway to turn around. If I'm wrong on that one . . . seriously: seek therapy, guys.

This criminal case that the State couldn't seize a guy's truck just because he used it to act as a look-out in a drug deal (he apparently had absolutely no other involvement with dealing). NOTE: it's a very fact-specific case, so criminal charges aside, I don't think I'd be volunteering for lookout duty anytime soon.

For an idea what domestic violence looks like, try this case.

This case reinforces the premise you can't promise leniency to coerce a confession - at least not if you want it to be admissible in court.

This case demonstrates why you have to be very, very careful about throwing in a laundry list of lesser-included offenses. If you guess wrong, you may just shoot yourself in the foot:
It is well-settled that the double jeopardy clause protects defendants against multiple punishments for the same offense. . . . Thus, if one crime is a lesser-included offense of another, and a defendant is convicted of both crimes, the double jeopardy clause may be violated. . . . However, by rendering a guilty verdict on a lesser-included offense in the first trial, a jury impliedly acquits the defendant of the greater offense. . . . It is therefore impermissible to resubmit any of the greater offenses at the second trial because the Constitution not only protects against conviction of the greater charge on retrial, it protects against the jeopardy of facing the greater charge after an acquittal, express or implied. . . . In this case, assault with the intent to commit sexual abuse causing bodily injury was submitted, although in error, as a lesser included offense of first degree kidnapping, and became the law of the case. Therefore, we conclude the double jeopardy clause bars retrial of the submitted greater offenses of first-degree kidnapping, third-degree kidnapping, and third-degree sexual abuse.

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