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4. Improper factors

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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State v. Octavia W. Dodson, 2018AP1476-CR, petition for review granted 1/20/21; case activity (including briefs) Issue presented: Did the sentencing court violate Dodson’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms by considering his status as a lawful gun owner an aggravating factor at sentencing? The supreme court just recently rejected an as-applied challenge to… Read more

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State v. Edward L. Body, Sr., 2019AP836, 1/22/20, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Body appeals the sentence he received after the revocation of his probation. He claims the circuit court erred in considering his gender and unproven allegations contained in the PSI. He also argues the sentence–one year in… Read more

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State v. Carrie E. Counihan, 2017AP2265-CR, petition for review granted 5/14/19, and State v. Donavinn Coffee, 2017AP2292-CR, petition for review granted 5/14/19; case activity (Counihan; Coffee) Issues: Does a defendant forfeit his right to challenge a judge’s consideration of information at sentencing by failing to object to the information at the time of sentencing? If trial… Read more

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How to argue with the COMPAS Algorithm

Looks like NYU Professor Ann Washington has done the hard work for you. Her new article, How to Argue With an Algorithm: Lessons from the Compass-ProPublica Debate, strives to inform courtroom arguments over the integrity of algorithms used to predict risk during the sentencing process… Read more

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State v. Marshawn Terell Johnson, 2017AP2445-CR, District 3, 3/19/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) In sentencing Johnson for possession of heroin with intent to delivery, the circuit court remarked that he’d traveled to Superior from Chicago to commit his crime. The sentencing court’s consideration of that fact did not violate the Privileges… 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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State v. Ashlee A. Martinson, 2017AP1889-CR, District 3, 2/20/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Martinson was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for killing her mother and stepfather. She pled to second-degree intentional homicide based on her claim of adequate provocation, which is premised on a complete lack of self-control… Read more

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