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Case No. 18-2085

Benjamin Elliott Lane
State of Iowa


Benjamin Elliott Lane


State of Iowa

Attorney for the Appellant

Benjamin D. Bergmann and Gina Messamer

Attorney for the Appellee

Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorney General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Dec 18, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (14 pages)

            Lane is serving two indeterminate, consecutive twenty-five year prison terms on his convictions for sexual abuse in the second degree and burglary in the first degree.  Lane contends that the guarantee of assistance of counsel should be set to a higher standard and his trial counsel was remiss in numerous ways.  He also claims his sentence is cruel-and-unusual punishment.  OPINION HOLDS: Our court is without authority to reach the merits of Lane’s novel legal approach to set a higher standard for assistance of counsel.  In addition, we find that counsel did not breach his duty with respect to his assistance in legal counseling.  Finally, we do not find Lane’s argument satisfies the threshold test to show that his sentence constituted cruel-and-unusual punishment.

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