State v. Hickman

337 N.W. 2d 512 (1983)

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State v. Hickman

Iowa Supreme Court
337 N.W. 2d 512 (1983)

Facts

Bernard Richard Hickman (defendant) was convicted of assault with intent to rape a woman. Hickman slashed the woman’s throat, but she lived. Hickman spent five and one-half years in jail before being paroled. Not long after Hickman’s parole, the State of Iowa charged Hickman with murdering a woman after raping her. Hickman admitted murdering the woman but after having consensual intercourse, not rape. Hickman claimed to have struck the woman in rage with a knife he had taken with him after she insulted him after they had consensual sex. If Hickman’s claim was true, it meant that the murder was not in the first degree as the state had charged. The state challenged Hickman’s claim of consensual sex with evidence of violence, such as crime-scene photos and medical testimony that Hickman had stabbed the woman 39 times. To bolster this evidence, the state presented the testimony of a psychiatrist who testified that Hickman was of a particular class of aggressive, hatred rapists. The psychiatrist made this determination after studying the psychology of rapists and examining Hickman and his medical records. Hickman objected that the psychiatrist’s testimony was not rebuttal evidence and should have been excluded. A jury convicted Hickman of first-degree murder, and he was sentenced to prison for the rest of his life. Hickman appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Uhlenhopp, J.)

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