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State v. Andreal Washington, 2018AP1254-CR, 7/9/19, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

A jury acquitted Washington of the felony murder of Williams. Then the State charged him with 2nd degree reckless homicide. Washington moved to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds. The circuit court denied the motion, and the court of appeals here affirms. Read more

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Marathon County v. D.K., 2017AP2217, petition for review granted 7/10/19; case activity

As our prior post noted, the court of appeals upheld D.K. (or “Donald”)’s commitment against his challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. The supreme court has now agreed to decide whether the testimony of the examining physician, who was the sole witness at D.K.’s trial, supplied enough for the court to find by “clear and convincing evidence” a “substantial probability” that D.K. was dangerous. Read more

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State v. John E. Paul, 2018AP1496, 7/11/19, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Paul had three prior OWIs and was on trial for a fourth, plus the associated PAC charge. During voir dire, the prosecutor told the jury that

the other thing is the prohibited alcohol concentration in this particular case is .02. Now, many of you may have heard of the .08, but in this instance, the prohibited alcohol concentration is .02. Now, is there any person here who thinks it’s unfair that somebody could be prosecuted or convicted of the offense of operating a motor vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration of .02 percent or .02 grams per 210—I forgot, but per deciliter of the  defendant’s breath? So it’s a .02 standard. Is there any person here who thinks that would be unfair?

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State v. Jessica M. Randall, 2019 WI 80, 7/2/19, reversing an unpublished court of appeals decision; case activity (including briefs)

A majority of the supreme court holds that a person who has been arrested for OWI and consented to a blood draw cannot prevent the testing of the blood sample for alcohol or drugs by advising the state she is revoking her consent. Read more

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State v. David Gutierrez, 2017AP2364-CR, District 2, 7/3/19 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The circuit court allowed the state to admit testimony that Gutierrez’s DNA wasn’t found after testing of relevant evidence state as well as testimony about why his DNA might not be found; it did not, however, allow Gutierrez to admit evidence that the DNA of other men had been found. This was error. Read more

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Rehaif v. United States, USSC No. 17-9560, 2019 WL 2552487, June 21, 2019, reversing 888 F.3d 1138 (11th Cir. 2018); Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary)

Federal law bans certain classes of people from possessing guns, and provides stiff penalties (up to ten years in prison if there are no enhancers) if they do. One of those classes consists of people who are aliens illegally in the country. Rehaif was illegally in the country and possessed firearms. The trial court instructed the jury that it could convict him only if he “knowingly” possessed a gun, but refused to instruct it that he also had to know he was illegally in the country. He was convicted, and the Court now holds this was error: the mens rea in the illegal gun possession statute applies both the the possession and to the status that makes the possession illegal. Read more

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State v. Marwan Mahajni, 2017AP1184-CR, 6/27/19, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Mahajni moved for a new trial because, during deliberations in his case, the bailiff told the jury that they could not deadlock. They had to reach a unanimous verdict of guilty or not guilty. The circuit court denied Mahajni’s motion, so he moved for reconsideration and this time submitted 2 juror affidavits supporting his motion. He lost again. The court appeals here reverses and remands the case for an evidentiary hearing. Read more

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Outagamie County v. J.M.J., 2019AP183, 6/27/19, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity

The parties to this TPR case agreed that they would not bring up J.M.J.’s lack of rights, or the termination of rights, to her other children. But during the trial on grounds, an expert, responding to questions from the County, referred to her son whom she had given up for adoption.  J.M.J. argued that this amounted to prosecutorial misconduct by the County. Read more

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