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United States v. Dennis Franklin & Shane Salm, 2018AP1346-CQ, certification granted 8/15/18; case activity

The Seventh Circuit certified the following question of law to the Wisconsin Supreme Court:

Whether the different location subsections of the Wisconsin burglary statute, Wis. Stat. § 943.10(1m)(a)–(f), identify alternative elements of burglary, one of which a jury must unanimously find beyond a reasonable doubt to convict, or whether they identify alternative means of committing burglary, for which a unanimous finding beyond a reasonable doubt is not necessary to convict?

The supreme court has accepted the certification and will answer the question next term. For more, see our post on the Seventh Circuit certification.

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Waukesha County v. S.L.L., 2017AP1468, petition for review of memorandum opinion granted 8/15/18; case activity

Issues (from court of appeals opinion):

Whether the circuit court has personal jurisdiction to recommit a person under Chapter 51 when the County concedes that it has been unable to serve her with the petition for recommitment?

Whether a circuit court has authority to enter a default judgment against the subject of a Chapter 51 petition for recommitment?

Whether “examining” physician reports recommending involuntary commitment and medication prepared physicians who never actually examined the subject are sufficient to support a Chapter 51 commitment?

Read more

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State v. Sammy Joseph Hadaway, 2017AP1165, 8/14/18, District 1 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Hadaway pleaded guilty to an armed robbery more than 20 years ago. Based, in part, on Hadaway’s testimony, his purported accomplice, Ott, was tried and convicted of first-degree intentional homicide–the victim of the crime was sexually assaulted and murdered. Read more

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State v. Marcia Render, 2017AP1779-CR, 8/14/18, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Render and her sister got into a brawl, and Render ended up on the floor on top of her sister, holding her head down to subdue her. Unfortunately, she died. At trial, the State’s doctor testified that her death was caused by manual strangulation. The jury convicted Render, and she filed a claim for ineffective assistance arguing that her trial lawyer should have consulted an independent forensic pathologist to review the medical evidence of her sister’s death. Read more

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State v. Marquis D. Walls, 2017AP1600-CR, District 1, 8/14/18 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The court of appeals rejects Walls’s argument that the circuit court violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by pressuring him to admit guilt at sentencing and then used his failure to do so to impose a harsher sentence. Read more

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City of West Bend v. Erik J. Wille, 2018AP151, District 2, 8/15/18 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Wille was waylaid by police while he was waiting for his Wendy’s order, leading to his arrest for OWI. The restaurant manager had called police after seeing open beer cans in Wille’s car when he was in the drive-thru. He claims the information from the manager didn’t give police reasonable suspicion to stop him. That claim fails. Read more

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State v. Richard Rey Myers, 2017AP2499, District 4, 8/9/18 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Myers argues, unsuccessfully, that his refusal to submit to a blood test for OWI can’t be found to be improper because it was based on misinformation from the officer about his right to counsel. Read more

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Looking for a creative objection? Consider this excerpt from the abstract on Michael Cicchini’s new article,  Spin Doctors: Prosecutor Sophistry and the Burden of Proof, forthcoming in the University of Cincinnati Law Review.

In two recently published studies, mock jurors who received truth-based instructions convicted at significantly higher rates than those who were simply instructed on reasonable doubt. Jurors who received the truth-based instructions were also far more likely to mistakenly believe it was proper to convict even if they had a reasonable doubt about guilt. Citing this empirical evidence, defense lawyers have been asking trial courts to remove truth-related language from their burden of proof jury instructions, and to prohibit prosecutors from making search-for-truth arguments to jurors.

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