from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark D. Cleve,
appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction
D. Hallstoos of Hallstoos Law Office, Dubuque, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
Thorndike appeals the dismissal of his application for
postconviction relief (PCR). He argues he was provided with
ineffective assistance of counsel during his trial, appeal,
and PCR hearing. We find trial counsel was not ineffective,
and therefore neither were appellate or PCR counsel. We
affirm the district court.
Background Facts & Proceedings
2013, Thorndike was convicted of second-degree sexual abuse
and lascivious acts with a child, and we affirmed his
conviction. See State v. Thorndike, 860 N.W.2d 316
(Iowa 2015). Thorndike filed a pro se application for PCR on
May 18, 2015, which counsel later recast. In his third
amended application, Thorndike claimed ineffective assistance
based on trial counsel's failure to elicit testimony from
two witnesses in his defense.
appeal, Thorndike asserts a new theory of trial counsel's
ineffective assistance based on failure to object to
prosecutorial misconduct in closing arguments. Thorndike also
claims counsel on direct appeal and PCR counsel were
ineffective for failing to raise the issue of trial
counsel's ineffective assistance.
Standard of Review
we review PCR proceedings for errors at law. Lamasters v.
State, 821 N.W.2d 856, 862 (Iowa 2012). Claims of
ineffective assistance of counsel are reviewed de novo.
Ledezma v. State, 626 N.W.2d 134, 141 (Iowa 2001).
To establish an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim based
on prosecutorial misconduct, the defendant must establish
proof of misconduct and the misconduct resulted in prejudice
denying the defendant of a fair trial. State v.
Graves, 668 N.W.2d 860, 869 (Iowa 2003).
is a fundamental doctrine of appellate review that issues
must ordinarily be both raised and decided by the district
court before we will decide them on appeal." Meier
v. Senecaut, 641 N.W.2d 532, 537 (Iowa 2002). No claim
of prosecutorial misconduct or prosecutorial error was
raised, discussed, or decided below, leaving us with no
relevant record aside from the trial transcript. However, our
supreme court has opted to take a pragmatic approach to
consider issues raised on appeal from PCR proceedings, if
possible. See Hannan ...