Looking for a creative objection? Consider this excerpt from the abstract on Michael Cicchini’s new article, Spin Doctors: Prosecutor Sophistry and the Burden of Proof, forthcoming in the University of Cincinnati Law Review.
In two recently published studies, mock jurors who received truth-based instructions convicted at significantly higher rates than those who were simply instructed on reasonable doubt. Jurors who received the truth-based instructions were also far more likely to mistakenly believe it was proper to convict even if they had a reasonable doubt about guilt. Citing this empirical evidence, defense lawyers have been asking trial courts to remove truth-related language from their burden of proof jury instructions, and to prohibit prosecutors from making search-for-truth arguments to jurors.
State v. Shayd C. Mitchell, 2017AP1536-CR, District 3, 8/7/18 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)
Mitchell was stopped two blocks away from the Family Video store he was walking to for an assignation with someone he thought was a 15-year-old boy. That was close enough to get him convicted of attempted child enticement. Read more
State v. R.D.J., 2017AP547, 8/7/18, District 1 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity
R.D.J. appeals the termination of his parental rights to his daughter, T.S.J. He argues that his lawyer was ineffective for not challenging the state’s expert’s report on Daubert and undue prejudice grounds, that his due process rights were violated because T.S.J.’s removal from the home made it impossible for him to show a substantial parental relationship, and that the CHIPS order itself established that such a relationship existed. Read more
State v. Melvin Lidall Terry, 2017AP1625, 8/7/18, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)
Police arrested Terry, his girlfriend Carter, and his brother X.C. soon after, and in the vicinity of, a fatal shooting. The police seated the three on the curb and directed one man who had witnessed the shooting to “look over and identify who it was”; he identified Terry. Read more
Marathon County v. D.K., 2017AP2217, 8/7/18, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity
“Donald” is the pseudonym the court of appeals opinion assigned to D.K., who was committed under §51.20(a)2.b. Although Dr. Dave, the examining physician, waffled on the odds of whether Donald might do serious physical harm without commitment and treatment, the court of appeals found that his conclusion–that Donald posed a “substantial risk of danger to others”–got the job done. It also acknowledged a potential antidote to mootness arguments in Chapter 51 appeals. Read more
State v. Terrell Antwain Kelly, 2017AP1584, 7/31/18, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)
Kelly was charged with both a long-ago second-degree sexual assault of a child and several domestic violence counts (the victim was the same). The state offered him a choice between two plea deals: one in which he would plead to the sexual assault with the DV counts dismissed and read in, and one in which he would plead to the DV counts with the sexual assault dismissed and read in. Read more