Judiciary Committee – Week 3, 2020


SF 375 – Jury Lists

SF 375 is a proposed Judicial Branch bill from 2018, based on a recommendation of the Court’s Committee on Jury Selection. In some counties, Iowa juries do not reflect the makeup of the population. To expand juror lists and ensure more diverse juries that meet the Constitutional requirement of impartiality, a task force recommended that the office of the State Court Administrator incorporate an Iowa Department of Revenue source list as part of the master jury list. Currently, jury lists are comprised of information from the Department of Transportation driver’s license and ID holder records, as well as voter registration lists. The bill provides that the Director of the Department of Revenue may provide the names, Social Security numbers, and addresses of taxpayers and their spouses to the State Court Administrator to be used to prepare jury lists. In addition, the bill limits public access to juror information to the year of birth, the resident city and the zip code relating to specific jurors. Specific address information, phone numbers and birthdate of prospective jurors will be confidential, only disclosed upon court order.
[1/27: 14-1 (No: R. Taylor)]

SF 586 – Violent Repeat Offenders

SF 586 relates to domestic abuse, stalking and harassment. The bill:

  • Requires a presentence investigation to include a risk assessment when the offender has been found guilty of or pled guilty to serious misdemeanor domestic abuse or serious misdemeanor harassment.
  • Requires all presentence investigations ordered by the court to include a risk assessment if the offense for which the defendant has been convicted or pled guilty is domestic abuse assault, harassment or stalking.
  • Creates a new category of offender called “violent repeat offenders.” These are defendants convicted of felony homicide, assault, sex abuse, kidnapping, robbery 1st or 2nd degree, or burglary, who have two previous felony convictions for any of those offenses. A violent repeat offender will be permitted to accumulate earned time while in prison at a rate of 15/85ths of a day for each day of good conduct. Most other offenders are eligible for a reduction of sentence equal to 1 2/10ths for each day of good conduct. The 15/85ths is equal to a 70% mandatory minimum.
    [1/27: 15-0]

SF 2092 (f/k/a SF 2005) – Confidentiality of Minor Victims

SF 2092 relates to the privacy of a child victim of sex abuse, incest or sexual exploitation of a minor. The bill changes the definition of a child for the purposes of protecting a child victim’s privacy. Under current law, for purposes of the victims’ rights chapter, “child” is as anyone under 14. The bill changes the definition of “child” to anyone under 18, thus requiring that the identity of any person who is under 18 and is a victim of sex abuse, incest or sexual exploitation of a minor won’t be released to the public by any public employee unless authorized by the court of jurisdiction. The name of the child and any identifying biographical information won’t appear on the information or indictment or any other public record. In addition, any civil filings that arise from the criminal charge must require the use of a non-descriptive designation for the victim, and the name and any identifying biographical information must not appear in filings. A defendant or the defendant’s counsel must have access to the identity of the child, but can only use the information in preparation of a defense or be subject to contempt. This protection will continue to apply after the child victim turns 18.
[1/27: 15-0]

SF 2093 (f/k/a SF 2007)- Life Means Life

SF 2093 is a response to a post-conviction relief filing by a criminal defendant who had been sentenced to life in prison but claimed that since his heart had stopped after falling ill, he had technically died and thus had served his life sentence, even though he was resuscitated and brought back to life. Iowa’s Court of Appeals said, “nice try,” but since he was still alive, he had not served his life sentence.

SF 2093 defines a life sentence for the purposes of a class “A” felony as the defendant’s natural life, regardless of any life-sustaining procedures that may be used on the defendant during the defendant’s sentence.
[1/27: 15-0]

SF 2095 (f/k/a SF 587) – County Attorneys Professional Permits to Carry

SF 2095 adds county attorneys and assistant county attorneys to the individuals who may apply for a professional permit to carry a weapon. Current law says that certain individuals “when the person’s employment in a private investigation business or private security business licensed under Chapter 80A, or a person’s employment as a peace officer, correctional officer, security guard, or bank messenger, or other person transporting property of value requiring security” may apply for a professional permit to carry. The bill allows county attorneys with professional permits to go armed anywhere in the state at all times except while on the grounds of a school or a security screening station at a courthouse that is subject to rules, directives, and procedures of the Judicial Branch and the judicial district.

The committee adopted an amendment that requires a county attorney or assistant county attorney who wants a professional permit to carry to complete a law enforcement agency firearm safety training course that qualifies a peace officer to carry a firearm in the normal course of the peace officer’s duties. Also, the county attorney or assistant county attorney must not otherwise be disqualified from possessing a firearm.
[1/27: 15-0]

SF 2096 (f/k/a SF 2006) – Emergency Medical Care Providers Professional Permits to Carry

SF 2096 allows emergency medical care providers, referred to as EMCs, who accompany police tactical teams into potentially high-casualty situations where a threat is still present to be issued a professional permit to carry weapons. Professional permits allow the holder to carry the weapon only when engaged in their employment and when going to and from their employment. To obtain a professional permit to carry, EMCs must train with the tactical team and complete a law enforcement agency firearm safety training course, as required of peace officers. An EMC must not otherwise be disqualified from possessing a weapon.
[1/27: 15-0]

SF 2097 (f/k/a SSB 3031) – Indecent Exposure

SF 2097 expands the definition of the crime of indecent exposure. It will constitute indecent exposure if a person masturbates outside of or underneath the person’s clothing if they do so to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either party, and the person knows or reasonably should know that the act is offensive to the viewer or the viewer was a child at the time of the act. Indecent exposure is a serious misdemeanor, subject to up to a year in jail and a fine of at least $315 but not to exceed $1,875.

According to the County Attorney Association, there was a case in Iowa where an individual who was clothed went to a pediatric clinic and in view of children was masturbating. Apparently, the individual could not be charged with indecent exposure. However, because he was on the sex offender registry, he was charged with a registry violation.
[1/27: 15-0]