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A. Generally

In a case that may bear on the potential use of videoconferencing at criminal trials as the COVID-19 pandemic grinds on, the Tennessee Court of Appeals, in State v. Dennis Lee Seale, invalidated a trial court’s order allowing the prosecution’s out-of-state witnesses to testify using teleconferencing technology. The trial court decided the defendant would “receive… Read More


State v. Glenn T. Zamzow, 2017 WI 29, 4/6/17, affirming a published court of appeals decision; case activity (including briefs) “The Sixth Amendment guarantees that a defendant whose guilt or innocence is at stake at trial may employ the ‘greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.’ …. But the Sixth Amendment does not… Read More


State v. Glenn T. Zamzow, 2016 WI App 7, petition for review granted, 3/7/16, affirmed, 2017 WI 29; case activity (including briefs) Relying on precedent predating Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), two judges of the court of appeals hold that the Confrontation Clause does not apply to suppression hearings and that the circuit court could rely… Read More

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Questions presented: 1. Does an individual’s obligation to report suspected child abuse make that individual an agent of law enforcement for purposes of the Confrontation Clause? 2. Do a child’s out-of-court statements to a teacher in response to the teacher’s concerns about potential child abuse qualify as “testimonial” statements subject to the Confrontation Clause? Lower… Read More


On review of published decision; case activity Confrontation — bases of expert opinion as “testimonial” hearsay Issue (Composed by On Point) When a State Crime Lab technician concludes there is a DNA match between defendant and assailant based in part on a report of a DNA profile prepared by an outside lab, is the outside lab… Read More


Confrontation: DNA Profile Report

State v. Richard Lavon Deadwiller, 2012 WI App 89, supreme court review granted 1/14/13; affirmed, 2013 WI 75; case activity A report from an “outside” lab (Orchid Cellmark) relied on by a State Crime Lab technician for “investigative” purposes in developing a DNA match between defendant and assailant wasn’t “testimonial,” therefore didn’t violate confrontation: ¶1… Read More


Arrest – Probable Cause

State v. Matthew Owen Hoff, Jr., 2011AP2096-CR, District 3, 6/26/12 court of appeals decision (1-judge, ineligible for publication); case activity ¶19      Here, before arresting Hoff, Gostovich observed him sleeping behind the wheel of a running car that was parked horizontally against the vertical parking stalls.  Hoff did not awake to Gostovich’s shouting or knocking.  When he finally awoke, he was… Read More


Confrontation – Expert Testimony

Sandy Williams v. Illinois, USSC No. 10-8505, 6/18/12, affirming People v. Williams, 238 Ill. 2d 125, 939 N.E. 268 A split Court (4-1-4) upholds against Confrontation objection, admissibility of expert testimony that a DNA profile, produced by a different lab, matched Williams’ profile. Because the rationale favoring admissibility doesn’t earn a clear majority of votes, the opinion… Read More