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C. Factors

Get your COMPAS bearings!

While we’re waiting for a decision in State v. Loomis to tell us whether we can have access to the inner workings of the de facto Deus ex machina of Wisconsin sentencing proceedings, we thought you’d be interested in this investigative report on the COMPAS by the investigative reporters at ProPublica. ProPublica obtained the risk scores assigned to more than 7,000… Read More

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Molina-Martinez v. United States, USSC No. 14-8913, 2016 WL 1574581 (April 20, 2016), reversing and remanding United States v. Molina-Martinez, 588 Fed. Appx. 333 (5th Cir. 2015); Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) Emphasizing the Federal Sentencing Guidelines’ “central” role in sentencing because they “serve as the starting point for the district court’s decision and anchor… Read More

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David Conrad v. United States, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-3216, 3/4/16 Peugh v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2072 (2013), held that the ex post facto clause prohibits a sentencing court from using a Sentencing Guideline in effect at the time of sentencing instead of the Guideline in effect at the time of the offense if the new… Read More

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On review of a court of appeals certification; case activity Issue (from certification) Does a defendant’s right to due process prohibit a circuit court from relying on COMPAS assessments when imposing sentence, either because the proprietary nature of COMPAS prevents defendants from challenging the COMPAS assessment’s scientific validity, or because COMPAS assessments take gender into… Read More

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If you are working on a COMPAS issue, you may be interested in a new research paper, “Risk Assessment in Criminal Sentencing,” from the University of Virginia School of Law.  Here is the abstract: The past several years have seen a surge of interest in using risk assessment in criminal sentencing, both to reduce recidivism… Read More

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State v. Eric L. Loomis, 2015AP157-CR, District 4, 9/17/15, certification granted 11/4/15, circuit court affirmed, 2016 WI 68; case activity (including briefs) Issues We certify this appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide whether the right to due process prohibits circuit courts from relying on COMPAS assessments when imposing sentence. More specifically, we certify… Read More

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State v. Sharod D. Weaver, 2015AP170-CR, District 3, 8/31/15 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Though the sentencing court made comments suggesting it mistakenly believed the OWI sentencing guidelines “don’t consider the four primary sentencing factors,” these comments don’t show the sentencing court actually believed that; rather, the court of appeals concludes, the… Read More

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State v. John Eddie Farmer, Sr., 2014AP2623-CR, 6/30/15, District 1 (one-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); click here for docket and briefs Defense lawyers encounter this problem too often. The circuit court inadequately explains the reasons for the sentence it imposed and then shores up its rationale at the postconviction stage. This decision holds that a… Read More

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