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Case No. 19-0398

Joseph Matthew Smith
State of Iowa


Joseph Matthew Smith


State of Iowa

Attorney for the Appellant

Jennifer Bennett Finn

Attorney for the Appellee

Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant Attorney General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 23, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County, David A. Lester, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Tabor, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (7 pages)

            Joseph Smith appeals the district court’s denial of his postconviction-relief application, claiming his counsel (1) should have challenged his competency to enter the plea and (2) should have explained the special sentence of lifetime parole.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not err when it denied Smith’s ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims.  Smith’s categorical challenge to his sentence lacks merit, and Smith’s attorney could not have been effective in failing to raise it.  We affirm the district court’s denial of Smith’s postconviction-relief application.

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