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5. Particular issues

Shan Fieldman v. Christine Brannon, __F.3d__  (7th Cir. 2020) Shan Fieldman climbed into a truck and told a hit man that he wanted his ex-wife and her boyfriend killed. Turns out the hit man was an undercover cop who videotaped their conversation. At trial the State played the video. Fieldman testified that he did not… Read More

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Michael Gilbreath v. Dan Winkleski, Case No. 19-cv-728-jdp (W.D. Wis. Aug. 4, 2020) Witness credibility was the key issue at Gilbreath’s trial, and his counsel’s failure to present evidence that would have undermined [the complaining witness’s] credibility and bolstered Gilbreath’s defense deprived Gilbreath of a fair trial. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals unreasonably concluded that… Read More

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Ladarius Marshall v. Scott Eckstein, No. 15-CV-008 (E.D. Wis. Apr. 22, 2020) Marshall pleaded to homicide and other charges. Before he did so, though, he moved to suppress statements he’d made during more than 12 hours of interrogation at the police station (he was 16 years old at the time). The trial court and our… Read More

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Terez Cook v. Brian Foster, Warden, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 18-2214, 1/29/2020 Pursuing a federal writ of habeas corpus is always a long shot; in non-capital cases fewer than 1% of petitions are successful. Terez Cook gets it done here, convincing the Seventh Circuit his lawyer was ineffective at his trial for a… Read More

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State v. Maries D. Addison, 2018AP55-57-CR, 3/26/19, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The court of appeals agreed that the 17-month delay in bringing Addison to trial was presumptively prejudicial, but based on the unique facts of this case, it held that his speedy trial rights weren’t violated. Addison did a… 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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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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