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Plea Bargains — Breach: Procedural Issues — Preservation by Objection

State v. John D. Williams, 2001 WI App 7, 241 Wis. 2d 1, 624 N.W.2d 164, affirmed without discussing this issue, 2002 WI 1
For Williams: John A. Pray

Issue: Whether the defendant properly preserved objection to a prosecutorial breach of plea bargain.

Holding: ¶13:

(T)he trial court recognized it as an objection and initially agreed with Williams’s attorney. The objection was sufficient. That Williams’s counsel did not repeat his objection when the prosecutor replied that she was in fact abiding by the agreement is of no moment. The objection was out there, the court understood it to be so and that is all that is necessary. Objections need not be made with technical precision. They need to relay the proper information to the court. This objection passed muster.

The defense objection was sustained by the court (see also cc op, ¶20), eliciting a disavowal from the prosecutor that she was changing her recommendation. The court of appeals’ discussion of this point is cursory, but the result might be read as implicitly standing for the idea that once a breach occurs, it can’t be cured simply by sustaining an objection.

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