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a. Bias

The supreme court’s Order 16-02A, 2017 WI 92, effective January 1, 2018, amends some rules of evidence that apply frequently in criminal cases: It clarifies the rule of completeness, § 901.07, by providing the rule is applicable to oral testimony as well as written testimony and to provide guidance on how and when to apply the rule. It revises… Read More

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State v. Rafael D. Honig, 2016 WI App 10; case activity (including briefs) Honig, convicted at trial of two first-degree child sexual assaults, asserts that his trial counsel mishandled three issues bearing on the credibility of his accusers; the court of appeals agrees. Honig was accused of having intercourse and sexual contact with his two granddaughters, aged three… 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State v. Antonio D. Williams, 2013AP814; 6/3/14; District 1; (not recommended for publication); case activity This appeal raises a host of issues but the most interesting concern the trial court’s decisions to: (1) prohibit defense counsel from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. Walter T. Missouri, 2006 WI App 74 For Missouri: Jeffrey W. Jensen Issue: Whether evidence of police officer Mucha’s mistreatment of a 3rd-party (Scull) in an otherwise unrelated but similar instance was admissible to further defendant Missouri’s claim that Mucha was untruthful in denying physical abuse against and planting evidence on Missouri. Holding: This evidence… 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 of… 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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Cross-examination — Bias — Interplay with Fifth Amendment

State v. Jon P. Barreau, 2002 WI App 198, PFR filed 8/12/02 For Barreau: Glenn C. Reynolds Issue/Holding:A line of inquiry that suggests potential bias is relevant; however, the witness’s “real and appreciable apprehension” of self-incrimination trumps the right of confrontation. In such an instance it may be necessary to prevent the witness from testifying or to… Read More

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