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2. Bias/disqualification

State v. Brad L. Conger, 2017AP860-CR, 10/18/17, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Brad Conger went on trial for an OWI and the associated PAC. His defense was an "alcohol curve" theory that the breath tests result did not reflect his true BAC at the time he was driving. His… Read More

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Read this new opinion from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  It reversed a trial court decision to strike a potential juror for cause because she expressed a belief that the criminal justice system is biased against black men. According to the court of appeals, our justice system is biased, and jurors having this belief… Read More

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State v. Jeffrey P. Lepsch, 2017 WI 27, 3/31/17, affirming a per curiam court of appeals opinion, case activity (including briefs) This appeal primarily concerns whether trial counsel was ineffective for failing to: (a) object to the seating of biased jurors, and (b) ensure that the trial court properly administered the oath to the venire panel… Read More

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Miguel Angel Peña-Rodriguez v. Colorado, USSC No. 15-606, 2017 WL 855760 (March 6, 2017), reversing Peña-Rodriguez v. People, 350 P.3d 287 (Colo. 2015); Scotusblog page Every state and federal jurisdiction has some version of the "no-impeachment rule," which, after a verdict is received, bars an aggrieved party from presenting testimony by jurors regarding the jury's… Read More

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SCOW to review juror bias issues

State v. Jeffrey P. Lepsch, 2015AP2813-CR, petition for review granted 5/11/16; case activity (including briefs) Issues (composed by On Point) Were one or more jurors at Lepsch's trial objectively or subjectively biased because they did not provide "unequivocal assurances" that they could set aside prior beliefs (about, e.g., the guilt of the defendant and the… Read More

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State v. Todd Brian Tobatto, 2016 WI App 28; case activity (including briefs) The news, in this otherwise run-of-the-mill case, is the standard of review. Tobatto raises an ineffective assistance claim rooted in trial counsel's failure to strike a juror for bias. The judge who heard the postconviction motion was not the judge who ran the trial… Read More

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Can courtroom prejudice be proved?

The Marshall Project offers an interesting analysis of Foster v. Chatman, a case that SCOTUS on Monday. Hopefully, the decision will give defense lawyers betters tools for proving that the prosecution engaged in racial discrimination during jury selection. Click here for the Marshall Project's analysis. And here is SCOTUSblog's report on the actual argument… Read More

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State v. Clifton Robinson, 2014AP1575-CR, 3/31/15, District 1 (not recommended for publication); click here for briefs and docket The court of appeals here rejects a barrage of challenges to Robinson's conviction for criminal damage to property and armed robbery with use of force--everything from a Batson challenge, to severance issues, to the sufficiency of evidence… Read More

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