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Milwaukee County v. C. L.-K., 2015AP2031, 5/24/2016, District 1 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

In State ex rel. Watts v. Combined Community Services Bd. of Milwaukee County, 122 Wis. 2d 65, 84, 362 N.W.2d 104 (1985), the state supreme court held that equal protection entitles a person protectively placed under Wis. Stat. ch. 55 to “annual” court review of the placement. The court of appeals (in a citable, but not controlling, decision) now holds that completing such a review more than 16 months after the original placement is good enough. Read more

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State v. Moustakis, 2016 WI 42, 5/20/2016, affirming a published court of appeals decision, 2015 WI App 63, case activity (including briefs)

This decision may interest those who need to file an open records request concerning a district attorney. In this case, a newspaper asked the DOJ for records of complaints or investigations regarding the Vilas County District Attorney.  The DA sought to enjoin the DOJ from releasing the records. Read more

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State v. Stephen LeMere, 2016 WI 41, 05/12/2016,  affirming an unpublished court of appeals decision, case activity (including briefs)

In State v. LeMere, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment does not require defense counsel to advise a client that conviction for a pending charge of sexual assault could result in future commitment proceedings under chapter 980. The case could be appropriate for certiorari review in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the scope of the right to counsel. Read more

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Foster v. Chatman, USSC No. 14-8349, 2016 WL 2945233 (May 23, 2016); reversing an unpublished order of the Supreme Court of Georgia; Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary)

Timothy Foster, who is black, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. Long after his conviction, his attorneys obtained documents from the prosecutors’ files showing their heavy reliance on race in deciding which jurors to strike. Seven of the eight justices now side with Foster and reverse the state courts’ rejection of his habeas claim under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986). Read more

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In denying Lavinia Goodell’s application for admission to SCOW, Chief Justice Edward Ryan famously held that women practicing law are “departures from the order of nature; and when voluntary, treason against it.” Poor Ryan must be spinning like a centrifuge in his grave. Today’s edition of SCOWstats examines the rise of women advocates (never mind justices) in Wisconsin’s highest court.  It is gratifying to see how the State Public Defender, the Remington Center, and other public  interest organizations have helped alter “the order of nature” in SCOW.

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Get your COMPAS bearings!

While we’re waiting for a decision in State v. Loomis to tell us whether we can have access to the inner workings of the de facto Deus ex machina of Wisconsin sentencing proceedings, we thought you’d be interested in this investigative report on the COMPAS by the investigative reporters at ProPublica. Read more

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Luna Torres v. Lynch, USSC No. 14-1096, 2016 WL 2903424 (May 19, 2016), affirming Torres v. Holder, 764 F.3d 152 (2nd Cir. 2014); Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary)

The definition of “aggravated felony” under federal immigration law, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), has 21 subsections covering dozens of different crimes. Many of the subsections refer to offenses “described in” particular federal statutes, all of which include the interstate commerce element necessary for federal criminal jurisdiction. A catch-all at the end of the statute says that “aggravated felony” includes “an offense described in this paragraph whether in violation of Federal or State law….” This decision says that a state offense that lacks an interstate commerce element, but corresponds in all other ways to a listed federal offense, is an aggravated felony. Read more

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Tony Thomas v. Tarry Williams, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-2610, 5/18/16

Thomas’s federal habeas petition argued the state withheld potentially exculpatory evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), but didn’t raise this claim in his state postconviction proceeding so he can’t raise it in his federal habeas petition. Read more

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