from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Bethany
Voigts appeals his criminal convictions following a jury
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender (until withdrawal), and
Robert P. Ranschau, Assistant Appellate Defender, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.
Voigts appeals his convictions of second-degree sexual abuse
and willful injury causing bodily injury. He argues the
district court erred in overruling his challenge to the
racial composition of the jury pool, which violated his
constitutional right to a jury drawn from a fair
cross-section of the community. Our review is de novo.
See State v. Lilly, 930 N.W.2d 293, 298 (Iowa 2019).
defendants are constitutionally entitled to a jury drawn from
a fair cross-section of the community. State v.
Plain, 898 N.W.2d 801, 821 (2017). When a defendant
lodges a fair cross-section objection, the defendant has the
burden to establish a prima facie case by showing:
(1) that the group alleged to be excluded is a
"distinctive" group in the community; (2) that the
representation of this group in venires from which juries are
selected is not fair and reasonable in relation to the number
of such persons in the community; and (3) that this
underrepresentation is due to systematic exclusion of the
group in the jury-selection process.
Id. at 821-22 (2017) (quoting Duren v.
Missouri, 439 U.S. 357, 364 (1979)).
September 10, 2018, the day before trial was to commence,
Voigts, an African American, filed a motion challenging the
racial composition of the jury pool. In the motion, Voigts
referenced "race reports" received from the jury
clerk showing the racial composition from jury pools in
recent years and a racial demographical population estimate
from July 2017. The population estimate provided African
Americans comprised 2.9 percent of the county population. The
race reports for 2017 provided, of the 3275 jurors summoned,
thirty-nine, or 1.19 percent, identified as African American.
The race reports for 2018, including the "jury panels
potentially being brought into court" the week of trial,
showed, of the 2913 jurors summoned, thirty-two, or 1.09
percent, identified as African American.
court heard the motion the morning of trial. As to systematic
exclusion, the parties and court discussed whether "the
jury pool being drawn from the voter registration and motor
vehicle operator's list is systematically excluding
African-Americans." See Iowa Code §
607A.22(1) (2018). The State took the position that there was
insufficient data to reach a conclusion of systematic
exclusion. The court specifically requested from defense
counsel "statistics that . . . voter registration and
driver's license lists somehow impact the
African-American community more harshly." Counsel was
unable to present the requested statistics, but instead
argued incarceration rates among African Americans and loss
of voting rights results in systematic exclusion. Counsel did
not provide any statistics to support his position. Counsel
made no request to be allowed an opportunity to compile such
information. See Plain, 898 N.W.2d at 828 (holding
defendants are entitled "access to the information
necessary to prove a prima facie case").
the court agreed that significant portions of the entire
adult population are excluded from voter registration records
and the motor vehicle operators list, the court ultimately
ruled it could not "find any evidence that the two
lists, the voter registration list and the motor vehicle
operator's list, systematically exclude African Americans
from being on jury pools" and Voigts therefore failed to
establish "a prima facie violation of the fair
our de novo review, we agree with the district court that
Voigts failed to meet his burden to show that the
jury-selection process "practices have produced
underrepresentation of a minority group." See
Lilly, 930 N.W.2d at 308. He provided no evidence, other