State v. Wayne R. Anderson, 222 Wis. 2d 403, 588 N.W.2d 75 (Ct. App. 1998)
For Anderson: Margaret A. Maroney, SPD, Madison Appellate
A PSI represents an important source of guidance for a trial court in a sentencing proceeding. A sentencing constitutes a critical phase of a criminal proceeding. And, in a case involving a plea of guilty, no contest, or an Alford plea, the sentencing undoubtedly is the most critical phase of the proceeding. We acknowledge that sentences are not conducted with the formality of trials. See, e.g., State v. Scherreiks, 153 Wis.2d 510, 521-22, 451 N.W.2d 759, 764 (Ct. App. 1989); see also § 9l1.01(4)(c), Stats. Nonetheless, the trial court has an important factfinding role to perform if facts relevant to the sentencing decision are in dispute. In that setting, the sentencing court must resolve such disputes.