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F. Instructions

SCOW rejects challenges to JI-140

State v. Emmanuel Earl Trammell, 2019 WI 59, May 31, 2019, affirming an unpublished court of appeals decision; case activity (including briefs) Trammell challenged Wis. JI—Criminal 140, Wisconsin’s standard instruction on the burden of proof in a criminal case, arguing it dilutes the state’s burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. His primary challenge was… Read More

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State v. Alberto E. Rivera, 2018AP952-CR, 4/30, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs). The State charged Rivera with a homicide and an attempted homicide that occurred in 2015. Before trial, it moved to introduce “other acts” evidence–a homicide that Rivera committed in 1997. The trial court tentatively denied the motion. But… Read More

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State v. Martez C. Fennell, 2017AP2480-CR, District 1, 3/26/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Fennell unsuccessfully challenges his convictions for armed robbery and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, arguing that the charges are multiplicitous and that trial counsel should have subpoenaed a witness who would have impeached the victim’s identification… Read More

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State v. Emmanuel Earl Trammell, 2017AP1202-CR, petition for review of per curiam opinion granted 11/13/18; case activity (including briefs) Issues (from the petition for review): 1.   Is this Court’s holding in Avila–that it is “not reasonably likely” that the standard JI-140 reduces the State’s burden of proof–good law; or should it be overruled by the… Read More

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State v. Keith J. Brooks, 2017AP1723-CR, 9/25/18, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Brooks was tried for first-degree intentional homicide. The jury acquitted him of that but convicted of the lesser-included first-degree reckless. He argues his trial lawyers were ineffective because they pursued a strategy that would have let the jury… Read More

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Looking for a creative objection? Consider this excerpt from the abstract on Michael Cicchini’s new article,  Spin Doctors: Prosecutor Sophistry and the Burden of Proof, forthcoming in the University of Cincinnati Law Review. In two recently published studies, mock jurors who received truth-based instructions convicted at significantly higher rates than those who were simply instructed on… Read More

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State v. Joseph T. Langlois, 2018 WI 73, 6/20/18, affirming a published court of appeals decision, 2017 WI App 44; case activity (including briefs) A majority of the supreme court concludes that the jury instructions given in this case, when viewed in their entirety, accurately stated the law the jury needed to decide the case. Two dissenting justices… Read More

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State v. Devin T. White, 2016AP119-CR, 4/10/18, District 1, (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) White was convicted of 1st-degree reckless homicide. He argued that the trial court misapplied the law governing self-defense and improperly instructed the jury. The court of appeals repeatedly struggled to determine the thrust of his argument, but it… Read More

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