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Case No. 19-0109

State of Iowa
v.
Irvin Johnson, Jr.

The State seeks further review of the court of appeals opinion remanding the case for correction of an illegal sentence and vacating Irvin Johnson, Jr.’s convictions for possession of marijuana. Johnson argued the district court should have entered judgment only on the greater offense because his serious misdemeanor convictions for possessing marijuana were necessarily included in his felony convictions for eluding that were enhanced based on marijuana possession. The court of appeals determined the serious misdemeanors should merge into the felonies on the basis the court found no clear legislative intent to impose double punishment resulting in violation of the double jeopardy clause. Iowa Code § 701.9 (2017).

County:
Black Hawk

Applicant

State of Iowa

Resister

Irvin Johnson, Jr.

Attorneys for Applicant

Timothy M. Hau

Attorneys for Resister

Shellie L. Knipfer

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

Non-Oral

Sep 17, 2020 1:30 PM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-0109
Date Published:
Oct 16, 2020

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-0109
Date Published:
Mar 18, 2020
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David F. Staudt, Judge.  CONVICTIONS VACATED IN PART AND REMANDED FOR CORRECTION OF ILLEGAL SENTENCE.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J. (10 pages)         

            Irvin Johnson Jr. appeals his convictions for felony eluding enhanced based on marijuana possession.  He argues the district court should have entered judgment only on the greater offense.  The merger question hinges on whether our legislature showed a clear intent to impose cumulative punishments.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we find no such clear legislative intent, we conclude the marijuana possession conviction should merge into the felony.  We remand for correction of Johnson’s illegal sentence. 

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