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State v. Harry Thompson, 2009AP1505-CR, review granted 5/25/11

on petition for review of unpublished decision; for Thompson: J.P. La Chapelle; case activity

Issues (provided by court):

Whether the failure to inform Thompson of the applicable mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years of incarceration prior to trial violated Thompson’s constitutional due process rights.

Whether the complaint in this case was defective under Wis. Stat. § 970.02(1)(a) because it did not state the applicable mandatory minimum sentence, therefore entitling Thompson to a new trial.

Whether the court of appeals exceeded its authority and neglected to adhere to prior precedent when it decided issues of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Not knowing he was charged with an offense that carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years, Thompson went to trial and was convicted as charged. As you can readily see from the issue-statements, he argues that the State’s failure to provide formal notification of this predicament violated statutory and constitutional rights. He argues, in particular, that, “(h)ad Thompson and his attorney known that Thompson was facing a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years of incarceration, more extensive plea negotiations could have taken place,” COA Br., p. 13. Thus, he further argues, a Machner hearing is required to determine whether “more extensive plea negotiations” were feasible, id. Keep a close eye on Lafler v. Cooper (whether any remedy is available, despite ineffective assistance in plea bargaining, if the defendant is ultimately convicted after fair trial), which may largely defeat Thompson’s argument out of the chute.

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