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E. Restraint of defendant

State v. Danny L. Benford, 2017AP2520-CR, 3/26/19, District 3 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The Eau Claire County Sheriff Department’s policy is to require all defendants appearing for trial to wear a stun belt under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


The 9th Circuit, en banc, just issued a blockbuster 6-5 decision in United States v. Sanchez-Gomez, Appeal No. 13-50562.  Routine shackling of defendants in the courtroom violates the 5th Amendment. It doesn’t matter whether there is a jury present or not. The trial court must make an individualized finding of dangerousness. Judge Kozinski, author of the… Read More


State v. Anthony Colon, 2016AP1071-CR, 2/7/17, District 1 (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Colon was on trial for 2 felonies and 3 misdemeanors. During a break in deliberations, the bailiff happened to be transporting Colon to the court room. Colon was wearing street clothes, but he was chained to other defendants… Read More


State v. Tony Phillip Rogers, 2015AP921-CR, 4/12/16, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Though the complainant in Rogers’s child sexual assault prosecution made statements to her mother about “hearing voices” and needing mental health assistance, trial counsel was not deficient for failing to move for an in camera review of her… Read More


State v. Richard Wade Shirley, 2012AP263-CR, District 1, 1/29/13; court of appeals decision (not recommended for publication); case activity Denial of fair trial – restraint of defendant during trial Defendant forfeited claim that he was deprived of a fair trial because at least one juror saw he was shackled in the court room: “Not only… Read More


Stun Belt – “Standing Order”

State v. Allen K. Umentum, 2011AP2622-CR. District 3, 5/1/12 court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Umentum: Roberta A. Heckes; case activity Under a local, Brown County “standing order,” all in-custody defendants appearing at jury trial were required, without particularized demonstration of need, to wear a non-visible stun belt. The courthouse had no screening checkpoints… Read More


seventh circuit decision Habeas – Knowing Use of False Testimony (“Napue”)  Due process prohibits knowing prosecutorial use of false testimony, Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264, 269 (1959). However, the prosecutor’s exploitation of Bland’s incorrect testimony on a potentially important point (the date his gun was confiscated) doesn’t support habeas relief on a Napue-type theory. Napue and Giglio hold… Read More

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State v. Jason L. Miller, 2011 WI App 34; for Miller: Shelley Fite, SPD, Madison Appellate; case activity; Miller BiC; State Resp.; Reply If the stun belt (or other restraint) isn’t visible to the jury, the trial court need not consider its necessity before requiring that the defendant wear it during trial. “Because there is… Read More