from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Thomas G.
applicant appeals the district court decision denying his
request for postconviction relief on his claim he received an
illegal sentence. AFFIRMED.
D. Tindal of Keegan Farnsworth & Tindal, Iowa City, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kevin R. Cmelik, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.
Wells appeals the district court decision denying his request
for postconviction relief on his claim he received an illegal
sentence. We find Wells has not shown he received an illegal
sentence because his special sentence constituted cruel and
unusual punishment or because Iowa Code section 903B.1 (2009)
denied his right to substantive due process. We affirm the
district court's decision denying Wells's application
for postconviction relief.
Background Facts & Proceedings
pled guilty to lascivious acts with a child, in violation of
Iowa Code section 709.8. Wells was sentenced to a term of
imprisonment not to exceed ten years. The court also
determined Wells was subject to a special sentence, pursuant
to section 903B.1. Wells appealed, but his appeal was
subsequently dismissed as frivolous under Iowa Rule of
Appellate Procedure 6.1005 by the Iowa Supreme Court.
December 15, 2015, Wells filed an application seeking
postconviction relief on the ground he received an illegal
sentence. He claimed his special sentence under
section 903B.1 constituted cruel and unusual punishment and
violated his right to due process. The court found
Wells's claims were "contrary to established Iowa
law that is binding on this Court under the doctrine of stare
decisis." The court determined Wells failed to show he
received an illegal sentence and denied his application for
postconviction relief. Wells appealed.
Standard of Review
illegal sentence may be challenged at any time. Iowa R. Crim.
P. 2.24(5)(a); State v. Bruegger, 773 N.W.2d 862,
869 (Iowa 2009). "We generally review claims that a
sentence is illegal for correction of errors at law; however,
when a claim challenges the constitutionality of a sentence,
we review it de novo." State v. Lopez, 907
N.W.2d 112, 116 (Iowa 2018).
Cruel and Unusual
claimed the special sentence in section 903B.1 is cruel and
unusual because he could be subject to parole for the rest of
his life. He states the special ...