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L. Harmless Error

State v. Edward L. Branson, 2018AP873-CR, 3/21/19, District 4 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Branson was convicted of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.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State v. Christopher Deshawn McGinnis, 2017AP2224-CR, 3/5/19, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The court of appeals found certain hearsay statements admissible under the “statement against penal interest” and “prior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State v. C.L.K., 2017AP1413-1414, reversing an unpublished court of appeals opinion; 2/19/19; case activity (including briefs) The State of Wisconsin petitioned the Milwaukee County Circuit Court to terminate C.L.K.’s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. was an… Read More

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State v. Kenneth Alexander Burks, 2018AP208-CR, 9/25/18, District 1, (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The court of appeals held that an officer’s testimony that another witnesses’s testimony was “very believable” did not qualify as “vouching” when considered in context. It also held that the circuit court did not impermissibly rely on its… Read More

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State v. Kyle Lee Monahan, 2018 WI 80, affirming an unpublished court of appeals decision, 2014AP2187, case activity (including briefs) You wouldn’t know it from the opinions, but the parties here briefed (and WACDL filed an amicus brief on) a question of harmless error doctrine. When trying to decide whether a trial error is harmless… Read More

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State v. Delano Maurice Wade, 2017AP1021, 6/26/18, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Wade appeals his jury-trial conviction of sexual assault and false imprisonment. He argues that certain of his accuser’s statements, related by police officers on the stand, were hearsay, and that the court erred in addressing a jury question… Read More

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State v. James E. Gray, 2017AP452-CR, 6/6/18, District 2, (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The court of appeals here affirms several trial court evidentiary decisions and holds that the State presented sufficient evidence to support convictions for 5 counts  of identity theft.  As you might guess, the decision hinges on the harmless… Read More

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