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41. Trial Procedures

Danny Wilber v. Michael Thurmer, Case No. 10-C-179 (E.D. Wis., Aug. 4, 2020). It’s said that defendants having meritorious postconviction claims are more likely to win relief on a habeas petition in federal court than on direct appeal in Wisconsin’s appellate courts. This decision could be a poster child for that theory.  On Point last… Read More

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Challenges to TPR rejected

Racine County HSD v. S.M.F., 2019AP2346 & 2019AP2347, District 2, 7/15/20 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity S.M.F.’s challenges the order terminating her parental rights, alleging trial counsel was ineffective and that the circuit court should have granted her mistrial motion. The court of appeals affirms. The TPR petition alleged, and the jury found… Read More

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Many thanks to Mike Tobin, retired Deputy State Public Defender and co-author of Wisconsin Criminal Practice and Procedure for today’s thoughtful and timely guest post: Two main resources are available to assist attorneys in preparing for hearings conducted by video or telephone: Section 885.50-885.64, Wis. Stats, setting forth both authority for and limitations on video court… Read More

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State v. Lance L. Black, 2019AP592, 3/3/20, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Black’s first trial ended in a hung jury. When the state said it would try him again, he made a fuss–swearing and pounding on a table. At his second trial, Black again erupted (twice), was removed from the… Read More

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Terez Cook v. Brian Foster, Warden, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 18-2214, 1/29/2020 Pursuing a federal writ of habeas corpus is always a long shot; in non-capital cases fewer than 1% of petitions are successful. Terez Cook gets it done here, convincing the Seventh Circuit his lawyer was ineffective at his trial for a… Read More

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State v. Ross Harris, Jr., 2018AP1667, 10/24/2019, District 4 (one-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) The charges in this case, disorderly conduct and battery, arose from an altercation in a hospital elevator. The state said Harris, newly a grandfather, had attacked A.D., the fiancé of his newborn grandchild’s maternal grandmother, while both… Read More

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State v. Christopher L. Gee, 2019 WI App 31; case activity (including briefs) Christopher Gee was accused of sexually assaulting two women at knifepoint; one of the women had come to Gee’s apartment building because someone there had agreed to pay her for sex. He admitted to police that he’d had sex with this second… Read More

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State v. Danny L. Benford, 2017AP2520-CR, 3/26/19, District 3 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The Eau Claire County Sheriff Department’s policy is to require all defendants appearing for trial to wear a stun belt under their clothing. Benford did not want to wear one because he didn’t trust the sheriff’s not to… Read More

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