State v. John N. Navrestad, 2014AP2273, District 4, 7/2/15 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Disagreeing with the result reached in two recent unpublished decisions that addressed the same issue, a court of appeals judge holds that a circuit court had jurisdiction to convict Navrestad of OWI 1st in violation of a local ordinance even though he had a prior offense at the time of the conviction.

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State v. Tommy Lee Branch, 2014AP2515-CR, District 2, 7/1/15 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The circuit court had no authority to order cash seized from Branch on his arrest to be used to pay court obligations because there was no basis for concluding the money was not subject to return under § 968.20. As the court of appeals puts it, the cash Branch had at the time of his arrest was no different from any other personal property he had when arrested. “Had [Branch] been wearing a $200 Stetson hat, a $300 Gucci belt, or a pair of $500 Allen Edmonds shoes, the State would not be allowed to seize those items of personal property and sell them on eBay to pay Branch’s debts.” (¶10).

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State v. Steven E. Steffek, 2015AP93-CR, District 2, 7/1/15 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The evidence was sufficient to convict Steffek of endangering safety by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, § 941.20(1)(a), as a party to the crime, despite the fact there was no evidence that anyone was dodging bullets in a “zone of danger.”

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Gallion: “Mr. Cellophane shoulda been my name”

July 1, 2015

State v. John Eddie Farmer, Sr., 2014AP2623-CR, 6/30/15, District 1 (one-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); click here for docket and briefs Defense lawyers encounter this problem too often. The circuit court inadequately explains the reasons for the sentence it imposed and then shores up its rationale at the postconviction stage. […]

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Request for resentencing due to inaccurate information fails

July 1, 2015

State v. Greenwood, 2014AP2219-CR,6 /30/15, District 3 (1-judge decision; ineligible for publication); click here for docket and briefs Greenwood, who was convicted of several misdemeanors, sought resentencing on the grounds that the circuit court had relied on inaccurate information at the initial sentencing. Specifically, Greenwood alleged that the court believed his […]

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Person committed as sexually violent person can’t collaterally attack underlying criminal conviction after sentence has expired

June 29, 2015

Kevin Stanbridge v. Gregory Scott, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Nos. 14-1548 & 14-2114, 6/29/15 While Stanbridge’s prior sexual abuse conviction is a necessary predicate for his current confinement as a sexually violent person, once the sentence for the conviction expired he is no longer “in custody” for that conviction for purposes […]

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Lack of advice about deportation consequences merits plea withdrawal

June 29, 2015

DeBartolo v. United States, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-3579, 6/26/15 DeBartolo pleaded guilty to violating 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) by growing more than 100 marijuana plants, “[b]ut unbeknownst to DeBartolo, and also it seems to his lawyer, the prosecutors, and the judge, his conviction of the drug offense made him deportable […]

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Musacchio v. United States, USSC No. 14-1095, cert. granted 6/29/15

June 29, 2015

Questions presented: 1.  Whether the law-of-the-case doctrine requires the sufficiency of the evidence in a criminal case to be measured against the elements described in the jury instructions where those instructions, without objection, require the government to prove additional or more stringent elements than do the statute and indictment. 2. […]

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Jorge Luna Torres v. Loretta Lynch, USSC No. 14-1096, cert. granted 6/29/15

June 29, 2015

Question presented: Whether a state offense constitutes an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), on the ground that the state offense is “described in” a specified federal statute, where the federal statute includes an interstate commerce element that the state offense lacks.

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Divided SCOTUS rejects Eighth Amendment challenge to Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol

June 29, 2015

Glossip v. Gross, USSC No. 14-7955, 2015 WL 2473454 (June 29, 2015), affirming Warner v. Gross, 776 F.3d 721 (10th Cir. 2015); Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) In a 5-to-4 vote, the Supreme Court rejects the claims of Oklahoma death-row prisoners that the use of a particular drug (midazolam) in […]

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