“This case involves a dual tragedy: the death of one innocent man and the conviction of another.” (Initial Brief at 1). Not one of the many eyewitnesses to this homicide, which occurred during a large house party, saw Wilber shoot Diaz, the deceased. In fact, Diaz was shot in the back of the head and fell face first toward Wilber, not away from him. The State’s theory was that the shot spun Diaz around causing him to fall toward the shooter. It offered no expert to prove that this was possible. Read more
A jury convicted Hamilton of 1st-degree sexual assault of his 8-year old niece. On appeal, he argued that: (1) he was he entitled to a hearing on his postconviction motion in which he alleged, with the support of two experts, that his attorney provided ineffective assistance when she failed either to challenge the voluntariness of his Miranda waiver and subsequent confession or to present evidence calling its reliability into question at trial; and (2) he was entitled to a new trial in the interests of justice. Read more
Perhaps not, according to this interesting article published by Propublica. It is part of a series of articles about cases involving blood splatter analysis, and the questions about the science have resulted in moves to try to exonerate the convicted defendants. Read more
After Humphrey didn’t pay his fine for operating after suspension the circuit court suspended his operating privileges under § 345.47(1)(b). Six months later Humphrey agreed to a payment plan, so the court withdrew the suspension. But Humphrey stopped paying again, so the court imposed another one year suspension of operating privileges. (¶¶2-3). Can the circuit court do that? Read more
Imani doesn’t get a Machner hearing on his ineffective assistance of counsel claim because the court of appeals concludes the record shows counsel’s alleged errors didn’t prejudice Imani. Read more
Hatem M. Shata v. Denise Symdon, No. 16-CV-574 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 12, 2018)
Shata’s case was one of two our supreme court decided on the same day–both held counsel not ineffective for failing to give accurate advice on immigration consequences. You can see our prior post for the facts and our analysis of those decisions. Basically, counsel told Shata that pleading to the charged drug count would carry a “strong chance” of deporation, when in fact deportation was mandatory. Unlike our supreme court, the federal court now says that this wasn’t good enough–and further, that the supreme court’s conclusion that it was good enough was an unreasonable application of the law that SCOTUS clearly established in Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010). Read more
Issues (from the petition for review)
- Does the Sixth Amendment right to counsel attach upon the finding of probable cause and setting of bail by a court commissioner?
- Was the line-up impermissibly suggestive because it violated the Department of Justice’s Model Policy and Procedure for Eyewitness Identification and the viewing witnesses failed to follow the standard instructions given to them?
- Can a trial court at a pre-trial hearing decide that a defendant has waived the right to self-representation because the court believes the defendant will engage in disruptive behavior in front of the jury? If so, does the defendant have a right to redeem himself?