Follow Us

Facebooktwitterrss
≡ Menu

23. Structural error

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

{ 0 comments }

State v. C.L.K., 2017AP1413-1414, reversing an unpublished court of appeals opinion; 2/19/19; case activity (including briefs) The State of Wisconsin petitioned the Milwaukee County Circuit Court to terminate C.L.K.’s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

{ 0 comments }

McCoy v. Louisiana, USSC No. 16 – 8255, 2018 WL 218-617, 5/14/18, reversing and remanding State v. McCoy, 2018 So.3d 535 (La. 2016); SCOTUSblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary). In a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Ginsburg, SCOTUS holds that the Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to choose the objective of his… Read More

{ 0 comments }

This new law review article by Daniel Epps examine the subject in depth. Consider this excerpt from the abstract: Judges and commentators sharply disagree about which (and even whether) constitutional errors can be harmless, how to conduct harmless-error when it  analysis applies, and, most fundamentally, what harmless constitutional error even is-what source of law generates… Read More

{ 2 comments }

State v. C.L.K., 2017AP1414, petition for review of an unpublished court of appeals opinion granted 3/14/18; case activity Issues: 1. Where, during the grounds phase of a TPR trial, the circuit court errs by directing a verdict in favor of the State without giving the respondent an opportunity to present evidence, has the court committed… Read More

{ 0 comments }

SCOTUS delves into structural error

Weaver v. Massachusetts, USSC No. 16-240, 2017 WL 2674153 (June 22, 2017); affirming Commonwealth v. Weaver, 54 N.E.3d 495 (Mass. 2016); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Members of the public–specifically, Kentel Weaver’s family–were excluded from the overcrowded courtroom during jury selection for his trial. Violations of the Sixth Amendment right to public… Read More

{ 0 comments }

Question presented: Whether a defendant asserting ineffective assistance that results in a structural error must, in addition to demonstrating deficient performance, show that he was prejudiced by counsel’s ineffectiveness, as held by four circuits and five state courts of last resort; or whether prejudice is presumed in such cases, as held by four other circuits… Read More

{ 0 comments }

How to beat the “harmless error” rap

For the 2015 SPD conference, Judge Sankovitz and Attorneys Rob Henak and Melinda Swartz prepared an excellent outline on a problem that plagues many defense lawyers on appeal.  They have a great issue. They win it, but then the court of appeals or supreme court finds the error harmless.  This detailed, well-researched outline walks you… Read More

{ 0 comments }