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3. Harsh and excessive

State v. Westley D. Whitaker, 2021 WI App 17; case activity (including briefs) This appeal raises a hot-button issue likely to interest SCOW. Just last year an investigative journalist reported that Amish communities do not report sexual assaults of children to social workers or police. Parents and church elders strive to address the problem themselves… Read more

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Rico Sanders v. Scott Eckstein, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 19-2596 (Nov. 30, 2020) Sanders was give a 140-year sentence for sexual assaults he committed when he was 15 years old. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2030, when he’s 51. He argues he’s entitled to habeas relief because the Wisconsin Court of Appeals… Read more

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State v. Paris Markese Chambers, 2019AP17-18-CR, 5/12/20, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The State charged 17 year old Chambers with 8 crimes involving car theft, damage to property, and bail jumping across two cases. His maximum sentence exposure was 29.5 years and a $75,000 fine. The trial court imposed a… Read more

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Jones v. Mississippi, USSC No.  18-1259, certiorari granted 3/9/20. Question presented: Whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole. On February 26th, SCOTUS dismissed Randall Mathena, Warden v. Lee Boyd Malvo, USSC No. 18-217, which raised the… Read more

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Holguin-Hernandez v. United States, USSC No. 18-7739, cert granted 5/30/19 Question presented: Whether a formal objection after pronouncement of sentence is necessary to invoke appellate reasonableness review of the length of a defendant’s sentence. USSC docket; SCOTUSblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) In the 5th Circuit, counsel must object to the sentence after… Read more

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Randall Mathena, Warden v. Lee Boyd Malvo, USSC No. 18-217, certiorari granted 3/18/19 Question presented: Montgomery v. Alabama, 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016)), held that the new constitutional rule announced in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), applies retroactively to cases on collateral review. Did the the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals err in… Read more

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Kahler v. Kansas, USSC No. 18-6135, certiorari granted 3/18/19 Question presented: Do the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments permit a state to abolish the insanity defense? Decision below; USSC docket; Scotusblog page As Scotusblog explains, Kahler was convicted of killing his, wife, kids, and his wife’s grandmother, and he was sentenced to death. His lawyers argued… Read more

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Sentencing challenges rejected

State v. Angela L. Staten, 2018AP1506-CR, District 1, 3/19/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Staten and her two co-defendants engaged in a course of tax fraud that netted them over $200,000 in tax refunds that didn’t belong to them. Staten, the first of the three sentenced, argues that her sentence was unduly… Read more

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