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Sentencing – Review – Articulation of Factors – Ruminations about Defendant’s Mental Health

State v. Stephen C. Sherman, 2008 WI App 57, PFR filed 4/16/08
For Sherman: John J. Grau

Issue/Holding: The sentencing court’s observations to the effect that the defendant was “a sick man” didn’t amount to “unsupported findings about his mental health:

¶14      At Sherman’s postconviction hearing, the court indicated that its comments did not reflect medical diagnoses, but were instead common sense observations based upon facts in the record. … The court noted, “It does not take a psychologist to look at all the facts established in this sentencing record by presentences, by other information the Court had available to it, and conclude that Mr. Sherman is a sick and maladapted man.” Upon our review of the record, we discern no error in the court’s comments.

The defense had adduced mental health expert opinion (the opinion provides no details), which the sentencing court was entitled to reject, given the principle that the weight given sentencing factors is committed to the judge’s discretion, ¶15.

 

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