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Appeals — Harmless Error — Suppression Appeal

State v. Xavier J. Rockette, 2005 WI App 205
For Rockette: Timothy A. Provis

Issue/Holding: Issue/Holding: Trial court’s error in refusing to order suppression of statement was harmless under § 971.31(10), under following circumstances:

¶27      We conclude that the result in this case would have been the same beyond a reasonable doubt even if the circuit court had granted Rockette’s suppression motion, given the overwhelming incentives Rockette had to plead rather than go to trial.  First, the State had an extremely strong case. …

¶28      Moreover, Grandberry and Campbell would testify that Rockette had made jailhouse confessions to them. …

¶29      In addition to the above evidence, the State intended to introduce Rockette’s January 20 flight from police. …

¶30      Rockette had a comparatively weak defense. …

¶31      In addition to the comparative strength of the State’s case versus Rockette’s defense and the fact that the confession largely duplicated other evidence, Rockette had a compelling incentive to plead in order to reduce his exposure to incarceration.


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