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B. Bias of witness

State v. Raymond L. Nieves, 2017 WI 69, 6/29/17, reversing an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 2014AP1623-CR; case activity (including briefs) Forget the old saws that “appellate courts decide cases on the narrowest possible grounds,” “appellate courts should not reach constitutional issues when another issue is dispositive,” and “the supreme court should not decide issues… Read More

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State v. Antonio D. Williams, 2013AP814; 6/3/14; District 1; (not recommended for publication); case activity This appeal raises a host of issues but the most interesting concern the trial court’s decisions to: (1) prohibit defense counsel from cross-examining the State’s cooperating witnesses, all of whom were testifying in the hopes of receiving reduced sentences for… Read More

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State v. Damon R. Lowe, 2012AP555-CR, District 2, 9/18/13; court of appeals decision (not recommended for publication); case activity Lowe, charged with sexual and physical abuse of V.A.L., his adopted daughter, sought to present evidence that she was motivated to fabricate her allegations because she wanted to get away from her overly strict father, who… Read More

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State v. Justin Yang, 2006 WI App 48 For Olson: John J. Grau Issue/Holding: Defense cross-examination of a principal State’s witness was impermissibly curtailed when the trial court abruptly ended inquiry into whether the witness had threatened to cause the defendant (her ex-husband) “trouble” following his remarriage, where: The witness testified only with the aid… Read More

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State v. Justin Yang, 2006 WI App 48 For Olson: John J. Grau Issue/Holding: ¶11      Inquiry into a witness’s bias is always material and relevant. State v. Williamson, 84 Wis. 2d 370, 383, 267 N.W.2d 337, 343 (1978) (bias and improper motive of witness are never collateral). John Henry Wigmore has characterized cross-examination as “beyond… Read More

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State v. Roberto Vargas Rodriguez, 2006 WI App 163, PFR filed 8/28/06 For Rodriguez: Donna L. Hintze, SPD, Madison Appellate Issue/Holding: Where the defendant’s brother testified that the non-testifying complainant had recanted, the prosecution could impeach the brother with the possibility that the complainant was motivated by fear due to the brother’s gang affiliation, ¶31: “A witness’s… Read More

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Witness – Impeachment – Bias – Generally

State v. Justin Yang, 2006 WI App 48 For Olson: John J. Grau Issue/Holding: ¶11      Inquiry into a witness’s bias is always material and relevant. State v. Williamson, 84 Wis. 2d 370, 383, 267 N.W.2d 337, 343 (1978) (bias and improper motive of witness are never collateral). John Henry Wigmore has characterized cross-examination as “beyond any… Read More

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State v. Bryan Hoover, 2003 WI App 116, PFR filed 6/26/03 For Hoover: Glenn C. Cushing, SPD, Madison Appellate Issue/Holding: The defense wasn’t entitled to cross-examine a prosecution witness about the sentence he received on an otherwise unrelated charge, where the witness wasn’t offered a benefit in exchange for his testimony. Allowing the defense to… Read More

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