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Scott Schmidt v. Brian Foster, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 17-1727, 12/20/18, reversing panel decision of 5/29/18 Schmidt, as we discussed in our post on the Seventh Circuit’s (now reversed) habeas grant, was summoned into chambers and questioned by the judge about the testimony he wanted to give in his defense. His lawyer was… Read More

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Hatem M. Shata v. Denise Symdon, No. 16-CV-574 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 12, 2018) Shata’s case was one of two our supreme court decided on the same day–both held counsel not ineffective for failing to give accurate advice on immigration consequences. You can see our prior post for the facts and our analysis of those decisions… Read More

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Scott Schmidt v. Brian Foster, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 17-1727, 5/29/18, reversing Schmidt v. Pollard, No. 13-CV-1150 (E.D. Wis. Mar. 20, 2017); reversed en banc 12/20/18 A criminal defendant is entitled to counsel at all “critical stages” of the case. You probably think that a hearing, before a murder trial, that determines whether… Read More

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Who killed habeas corpus?

Judge Lynn Adelman, Eastern District of Wisconsin,  wrote an article by that name.  SSRN recently posted it online. An excerpt from the abstract is pasted in below. Don’t hold back. The article is short, and you won’t regret reading the whole thing . . . unless perhaps you’re Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, or a state… 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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Erick Daniel Davila v. Lorie Davis, USSC No. 16-6219, 2017 WL 2722418 (June 26, 2017), affirming Davila v. Davis, No. 15-70013 (5th Cir., May 31, 2016) (unpublished); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court holds that ineffective assistance of counsel in state postconviction proceedings does not provide cause to excuse, in a subsequent… Read More

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Brendan Dassey v. Michael A. Dittman, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 16-3397, 2017 WL 2683893, 6/22/17, affirming Dassey v. Pittman, 201 F.Supp.3d 963 (E.D. Wis. 2016). Over a dissent, the Seventh Circuit holds that the Wisconsin court of appeals unreasonably applied clearly established federal law when they decided that Brendan Dassey voluntarily confessed to being involved with Steven… Read More

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Charlotte Jenkins v. Percy Hutton, USSC No. 16-1116, 2017 WL 2621321 (June 19, 2017) (per curiam), reversing Hutton v. Mitchell, 839 F.3d 486 (2016)( 6th Cir. 2016); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Hutton filed a federal habeas petition challenging his death sentence on the grounds that the jury at the penalty phase of… Read More

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