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L. Harmless Error

State v. Duanne D. Townsend, 2019AP787, 6/9/20, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Good news: the court of appeals reversed a circuit court decision denying Townsend’s §974.06 motion without a hearing. Townsend now gets a one on his claims for ineffective assistance of postconviction and trial counsel. Bad news: the court… Read More

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State v. Keith M. Abbott, 2020 WI App 25; case activity (including briefs) After losing a suppression motion, Abbott pled “no contest” to 2nd degree intentional homicide. The court of appeals affirmed the denial of suppression for some evidence and reversed it as to other evidence. It held that Abbott’s mental breakdown during questioning did… Read More

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State v. Jeffrey D. Lee, 2018AP1507-CR, 11/5/19, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) At a jury trial for child sexual assault, the circuit court admitted “other acts” evidence that Lee had similarly assaulted 5 other children. The court of appeals called the “other acts” evidence of the 3rd, 4th and 5th… Read More

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State v. Tyler J. Yost, 2018AP2251-CR, 9/18/19, District 2, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Loose lips sink ships. They can also land you in jail for another year. That’s what happened to Yost when he and other inmates started bad mouthing their probation agent while chilling in the common area of… Read More

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State v. Edward L. Branson, 2018AP873-CR, 3/21/19, District 4 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Branson was convicted of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine. He argued that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to object to an officer’s testimony comparing his behavior to that of the passenger in his car where a bag… Read More

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Garza v. Idaho, USSC No. 17-1026, reversing Garza v. State, 405 P.3d 576 (Idaho 2017);  Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) This case involved two plea agreements that included clauses stating that Garza waived his right to appeal. After sentencing, Garza told his lawyer that he wanted to appeal, but his lawyer refused… Read More

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State v. Christopher Deshawn McGinnis, 2017AP2224-CR, 3/5/19, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The court of appeals found certain hearsay statements admissible under the “statement against penal interest” and “prior inconsistent statement” exceptions to the hearsay rule. It also held that part of a detective’s testimony qualified as hearsay, but its… Read More

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State v. C.L.K., 2019 WI 14, reversing an unpublished court of appeals opinion; 2/19/19; case activity (including briefs) The State of Wisconsin petitioned the Milwaukee County Circuit Court to terminate C.L.K.’s parental rights, following which the matter went to trial in due course. After the State rested, the circuit court immediately  decided that Mr. K… Read More

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