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23. Structural error

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

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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

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State v. Eddie Lee Anthony, 2015 WI 20, affirming unpublished COA decision; click here for docket and briefs Resolving an issue of first impression, SCOW has decided that a defendant may forfeit his constitutional right to testify by stating an intent to bring up irrelevant matters or by engaging in conduct incompatible with the assertion… Read More

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State v. Angelica Nelson, 2014 WI 70, 7/16/14, affirming an unpublished per curiam court of appeals decision; majority decision by Justice Roggensack; case activity Nelson wanted to testify at her trial on child sexual assault charges, but after a colloquy with her about waiving her right to remain silent the trial judge wouldn’t let her because he… Read More

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Review of unpublished per curiam court of appeals decision; case activity Issue (composed by On Point) Does harmless error analysis apply when a trial judge erroneously denies a defendant the right to testify in her own defense? Nelson wanted to testify in her child sexual assault trial, and the court engaged in a colloquy with… Read More

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court of appeals certification request; certification granted 2/25/13; case activity (Seaton); case activity (Pinno) Issue Presented (from Certification):  Is the failure to object to the closure of a public trial to be analyzed upon appellate review under the “forfeiture standard” or the “waiver standard”? As suggested, in each of these consolidated cases the trial judge barred the… Read More

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State v. Darrell K., 2010AP1910, District 1, 10/19/10 court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Darrell K.: Jereny C. Perri, SPD, Milwaukee Darrell’s right to counsel was violated when the trial court granted counsel’s motion to withdraw then found Darrell in default as to grounds while he was unrepresented. State v. Shirley E… Read More

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State v. Dhosi J. Ndina, 2009 WI 21, affirming 2007 WI App 268 For Ndina: Richard L. Kaiser Issue/Holding: ¶43      If a defendant’s right to a public trial is determined to have been violated, the defendant need not show prejudice; the doctrine of harmless error does not apply to structural errors. [15]  [15]  See Neder… Read More

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