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5. Particular issues

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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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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Buck v. Davis, USSC No. 15-8049, 2017 WL 685534 (February 22, 2017), reversing and remanding Buck v. Stephens, 623 Fed. Appx. 668 (5th Cir. 2015) (unpublished); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Buck was found guilty of capital murder. Under state law, the jury could impose a death sentence only if it found Buck was… Read More

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Question presented: Whether the rule established in Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S. Ct. 1309 (2012), and Trevino v. Thaler, 133 S. Ct. 1911 (2013), that ineffective state habeas counsel can be seen as cause to overcome the procedural default of a substantial ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim, also applies to procedurally defaulted, but substantial, ineffective… Read More

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William Hinesley, III, v. Wendy Knight, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 15-2122, 2016 WL 4758437, 9/13/16 Hinesley’s trial lawyer didn’t object to the state’s presentation of the inculpatory out-of-court statements of the two principal witnesses against him because he wanted all of the witnesses’ statements admitted to show how they had changed their stories and… Read More

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Francisco Carrion v. Kim Butler, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-3241, 2016 WL 4537374, 8/31/16 Carrion’s habeas petition made the novel claim that his confession was involuntary because of the fact it was translated by the investigating detective. You won’t be surprised to learn that the federal courts rejected his claim. At the time he was… Read More

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