In case you missed it, the Wisconsin Justice Initiative and the American Constitution Society have a “pot page” showing the number of cannabis cases each Wisconsin County prosecuted in 2019 and the race of the defendants. Spoiler alert: African Americans comprise 7% of Wisconsin’s population but 21% of defendants in cannabis cases.See the Dec. 3rd article here.
Actually, the DA argued: “My job is to show the truth. On the other hand, the defense attorneys’ jobs are to manipulate the truth. Their job is to shroud the truth. Their job is [to] confuse jurors. Their job is to do whatever they have to—without regard for the truth—to get a not guilty verdict.” The South Carolina Supreme Court had the good sense to overturn this defendant’s conviction for order and order a new trial. Click here. Have you ever observed a DA cross the line in closing arguments? Post a comment and let us know.
You’ve read a lot about the use of algorithms at the sentencing stage of criminal proceedings, but they are also used at the bail and parole stages. This new paper looks at the bias embedded in algorithms (including the STATIC-99R) and zeroes in on our own State v. Loomis.
The result here is simple, and expected, given the current makeup of the court: a five-two majority to overturn State v. Dubose, 2005 WI 126, 285 Wis. 2d 143, 699 N.W.2d 582. Dubose held that “show up” identifications–those where the police present a witness with only one suspect–were inherently suggestive, and identifications so obtained would be inadmissible unless circumstances rendered the procedure “necessary.” So, now, Wisconsin courts will review claims that a show-up identification should be excluded under the test of State v. Wolverton, 193 Wis. 2d 234, 264, 533 N.W.2d 167 (1995): a defendant must carry the initial burden to show the procedure was impermissibly suggestive, and if he or she does, the state must then prove that the identification is nevertheless reliable under the totality of the circumstances. Read more
J.R.’s children were placed outside the home pursuant to two CHIPS cases. During the placement, the legislature changed the 4th element for the “continuing CHIPS” ground for termination of parental rights. When the County petitioned to terminate J.R.’s rights, it proceeded under the amended statute. J.R. objected to the retroactive application of the amended statute on statutory and due process grounds. Read more
State v. Autumn Marie Love Lopez, 2017AP913-CR, State v. Amy J. Rodriguez, 2017AP914-CR, 11/27/19, 2019 WI 101, affirming a published court of appeals decision, 2019 WI App 2, case activity (including briefs)
This appeal asked whether the State may charge multiple acts of misdemeanor retail theft under §943.50 as one felony under §971.36(3)(a). The justices split 3-2-2. Five of them answered “yes,” but did not fully agree on a rationale for that mandate. The justices also disagreed over the role titles play in statutory construction and over whether both appellants in a consolidated appeal must file a petition for review. Read more
Give thanks to Federal Defender Paul Rashkind. He just made every criminal defense lawyer’s job a whole lot easier with his United States Supreme Court Review-Preview-Overview, current through November 25, 2019. Click here.
This appeal poses an interesting question of law: whether the justification defense available in certain civil forfeiture actions applies where a driver exceeds the speed limit in order to get away from another driver who is dangerously tailgating him on the freeway. See State v. Brown, 107 Wis. 2d 44, 318 N.W.2d 370. The court of appeals contorts the undisputed facts in order to duck the issue. Read more