from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Edward A.
Lang appeals the denial of his application and supplemental
application for postconviction relief.
Conrad Douglas, Sioux City, for appellant.
Michael H. Lang, Clarinda, pro se.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sheryl Soich, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
Lang appeals the district court's dismissal of his
application for postconviction relief (PCR) filed in 2016 and
his 2017 supplemental application. Lang claims structural
error in the court's decision, but the record is
inadequate for us to evaluate this claim. We find most of
Lang's claims are time-barred, have been previously
decided, or otherwise not properly before this court. We find
the new evidence challenging hair analysis at trial would not
have changed the result of the trial. We affirm.
Background Facts & Proceedings
1988, Lang held the victim in his home against her will
overnight, chained her, hit her repeatedly, and threatened
her. A jury convicted Lang of kidnapping in the first degree.
Our court affirmed his conviction in 1990. State v.
Lang, No. 88-1469 (Iowa Ct. App. Mar. 27, 1990). The
current appeal rises out of Lang's seventh application
for PCR. He has filed multiple direct-appeal challenges and
appeals of his PCR applications which have been
denied. Lang filed the current application on
September 28, 2016, alleging 2015 Iowa Supreme Court cases
provided a change in legal basis entitling him to relief.
Lang filed a supplemental application on June 8, 2017, along
with a motion to vacate his criminal conviction and motion
for new trial filed under his original criminal case on June
27, 2017, based on the use of hair analysis evidence in his
jury trial. The State filed a motion for summary
judgment and supplemental motion for summary judgment, both
of which the district court granted.
Arguments on Appeal
appeal, Lang's counsel claims the district court
committed structural error by requesting ex parte the State
prepare findings of fact and conclusions of
Counsel urges us to find structural error violating
Lang's due process rights by depriving Lang of his right
to counsel. The requested relief is to vacate the district
court's decision, reverse the court's dismissal of
Lang's PCR application, and remand for adjudication on
submitted multiple pro se filings to this court on appeal. We
will only address the issues raised in his application and
amended application for PCR.See Meier v. Senecaut,
641 N.W.2d 532, 537 (Iowa 2002) ("It 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."). Lang claims case law from 2015
changed a legal basis underlying his conviction and that his
sentence was inherently illegal and in violation of the ex
post facto clauses of the state and federal constitutions.
Lang also raises a claim of newly-discovered evidence
discrediting the hair analysis evidence presented during his
State responds to Lang's claim of structural error that
the district court has not had a chance to address the claim
and error has not been preserved. As to the hair analysis
testimony, the State claims Lang did not meet his burden to