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5. Coercion or misconduct

State v. John S. Finley, 2018AP258-CR, District 2, 6/12/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Here’s a succinct summary of this decision: “The Majority supports the government’s  ‘interview,’ which utilized lies, threats, and fabrication of evidence to wrestle a statement from a thirty-six-year-old man, who has the mind of a twelve year old… Read More

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When last we wrote about we Brendan Dassey, the 7th Circuit, sitting en banc, had vacated the writ of habeas corpus issued the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Dassey has since filed a cert petition in SCOTUS, and numerous organizations have filed amicus briefs in support of it. If you have a case involving a possibly… Read More

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State v. Chad David Knauer, 2017AP2243-CR, 3/22/18, District 4 (one-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Hats off to defense counsel, the circuit court, and court of appeals for the decision in this case. The State charged Knauer with misdemeanor theft of property. Police had interviewed him for just 1 hour at about… Read More

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The 7th Circuit: Making a mess of confession law

Dassey v. Dittman, 2017 WL 6154050, (7th Cir. 12/8/17) This is the decision Making a Murderer watchers have been waiting for. Critics and ivory tower dwellers will celebrate the result (a 4-3 win for the prosecution) but also the concise, dispassionate exposition of the law on involuntary confessions and its application to a hypothetical Brendan Dassey–someone… Read More

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State v. Armin G. Wand, III, 2015AP1366-CR, 9/8/16, District 4 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Armin Wand and his brother Jeremy were convicted of crimes relating to a fire at Wand’s residence that killed his three sons, seriously injured his wife and caused the death of the fetus she was carrying. Before he… Read More

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Francisco Carrion v. Kim Butler, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-3241, 2016 WL 4537374, 8/31/16 Carrion’s habeas petition made the novel claim that his confession was involuntary because of the fact it was translated by the investigating detective. You won’t be surprised to learn that the federal courts rejected his claim. At the time he was… Read More

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Brendan Dassey conviction overturned

Brendan Dassey v. Michael A. Dittmann, U.S. District Court (E.D. Wis.) No. 14-CV-1310, 2016 WL 4257386, 8/12/16 Brendan Dassey was charged with homicide and sexual assault after confessing to being involved in the murder of Teresa Halbach along with his uncle, Steven Avery. He challenged his confession, arguing it was involuntary, but the trial court and court of appeals… Read More

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State v. Miguel Muniz-Munoz, 2014AP702-CR, 3/1/16, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) By the time Muniz-Munoz went to trial for first degree intentional homicide, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy of the victim was dead. The trial court allowed another medical examiner who reviewed the case record to give his independent… Read More

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