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I. Present defense

Question presented: Whether, when this court held in Ake v. Oklahoma, 470 U.S. 68 (1985), that an indigent defendant is entitled to meaningful expert assistance for the “evaluation, preparation, and presentation of the defense,” it clearly established that the expert should be independent of the prosecution. Lower court decision: McWilliams v. Commissioner, Ala. Dep’t of Corr… Read More

Review of a per curiam opinion; case activity (including briefs); petition for review Issues (from Stietz's petition): 1. On the facts of this case, did the court of appeals deny Stietz’s federal and state constitutional rights to present a complete defense of self-defense, and contradict controlling precedent of this Court in State v. Mendoza, 80 Wis… Read More

State v. Ali Garba, 2015AP1243-CR, District 2, 10/5/16 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Garba wanted to present testimony from two expert witnesses about possible reliability problems with the gas chromatography tests of his blood, but the circuit court wouldn't let him. The court of appeals holds the circuit court properly exercised… Read More

State v. Daniel L. Schmidt, 2016 WI App 45; case activity (including briefs) The court of appeals rejects three challenges to Schmidt's jury-trial conviction of two homicides. Schmidt first asserts that the evidence was insufficient to convict him as to one of the homicides, though not the other. After a lengthy recitation of the substantial evidence… Read More

Wayne Kubsch v. Ron Neal, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-1898, 8/12/15 After being convicted of murdering his wife, her son, and her ex-husband, Kubsch was sentenced to death. He challenged his conviction and sentence in a federal habeas proceeding on three grounds: (1) the Indiana trial court excluded evidence of a witness’s exculpatory hearsay… Read More

Brumfield v. Cane, USSC No. 13-1433, (June 18, 2015), reversing Brumfield v. Cain, 744 F.3d 918 (5th Cir. 2014); SCOTUSblog page (including links to briefs and commentary); Majority opinion by Sotomayor; dissenting opinion by Thomas (joined in part by Roberts, Scalia and Alito) Brumfield was convicted of murder and sentenced to death before Atkins v. Virginia… Read More

State v. General Grant Wilson, 2015 WI 48, reversing an unpublished court of appeals summary disposition; opinion by Prosser; concurrence by Ziegler; dissent by Abrahamson; case activity (including briefs) If this portly opinion had been placed on 40-page reducing plan, it would have gained clarity and exposed its inner motive: ensuring that a 22-year old… Read More

State v. Geoffrey A. Herling, 2014AP565-CR, District 4, 12/18/14 (not recommended for publication); case activity The circuit court did not err by requiring Herling to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he had amnesia that prevented him from mounting an adequate defense. A defendant may be denied a fair trial if he has amnesia that deprived him of… Read More