State v. Twaun L. Gee, 2007 WI App 32
For Gee: Amelia L. Bizzaro
Issue/Holding: The holding of State v. Brandon E. Jones, 2005 WI App 259, ¶13, that the reconfinement judge need not review the original sentencing transcript was overruled by State v. John C. Brown, 2006 WI 131, ¶38:
¶14 In Brown, the supreme court addressed the very issue raised in Jones and advised the trial courts that:
The original sentencing transcript is an important source of information on the defendant that discusses many of the factors that circuit courts should consider when making a reconfinement decision. The original sentencing transcript is readily available for a circuit court to examine, and those portions that are considered by the court to be relevant should be mentioned.
Brown, 725 N.W.2d 262, ¶38.
¶15 … The supreme court concluded that the original sentencing transcript is an important source of information and that the transcript most likely will contain a discussion of the many factors that trial courts should consider at reconfinement hearings. Brown, 725 N.W.2d 262, ¶38. Given the explanation of the importance of sentencing transcripts, we find it puzzling that the State would argue that the trial court need not review the original transcript. Moreover, the directive that the trial court should determine which portions of the original sentencing transcript are relevant clearly assumes that the transcript will be read and considered by the sentencing court. Thus, we conclude that the trial court was obligated to review, at the very least, the original sentencing transcript. Consequently, we reverse and remand this case to the trial court to conduct a reconfinement hearing consistent with the relevant factors set forth in the supreme court’s Brown opinion, including a reading of the original sentencing transcript.
Gee argued that the reconfinement judge erred in failing to review the original sentencing transcript and the PSI, ¶1. The court of appeals doesn’t seem to say anything about the PSI, but note the carefully phrased enunciation of the obligation: “to review, at the very least, the original sentencing transcript.” You may want to press for review of the PSI where tactically advantageous; nothing in this decision says that it need not be reviewed, and perhaps the appellate court will put the PSI on the same footing as the transcript. Note, as well, that the recent State v. Donald Odom, 2006 WI App 145, ¶¶30-31 (unmentioned here by the court of appeals but also holding transcript-review unnecessary on reconfinement) is overruled as well, if sub silentio. Separately, the court of appeals upholds the reconfinement sentence as supported by an adequate explanation of reasons, because “(t)he trial court considered the three primary factors and explained its concerns,” ¶10; and rejects a claim that the reconfinement court must give deference to DOC’s recommendation, ¶12—both these holdings follow Brown without elaboration.