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B. Federal

Shoop v. Twyford, USSC No. 21-511, cert granted 1/14/22; SCOTUSblog page (containing links to briefs and commentary) Questions  presented: 1.  28 U.S.C. §2241(c) allows federal courts to issue a writ of habeas corpus ordering the transportation of a state prisoner only when necessary to bring the inmate into court to testify or for trial. May… Read more

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Nelson Garcia, Jr. v. Brian Foster, 20-CV-335 (E.D. Wis. 11/9/21). Garcia challenged his robbery conviction on two grounds. (1) He was denied his right to counsel at a post-arrest police line up. (2) He was denied his right to go pro se at trial. While habeas wins are rare, what’s most remarkable is how blatantly… Read more

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Danny Wilber v. Randall Hepp, 7th Cir. Nos. 20-2614 & 20-2703, decided 10/29/21 Danny Wilber was granted a writ of habeas corpus by a federal district judge due to the Wisconsin circuit court’s use of visible restraints during Wilber’s trial in violation of Deck v. Missouri, 544 U.S. 622 (2005). We wrote about that decision here… Read more

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Edwards v. Vannoy, USSC No. 19-5807, 141 S.Ct. 1547 (May 17, 2021), affirming 2019 WL 8643258 (5th Cir. May 20, 2019) (denying certificate of appealability); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) This decision alters the long-standing doctrine for deciding whether new rules of criminal procedure established by a decision of the Supreme Court… Read more

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Brown v. Davenport, No. 20-826, cert. granted 4/5/21; Scotusblog page Question presented: May a federal habeas court grant relief based solely on its conclusion that the Brecht test is satisfied, as the Sixth Circuit held, or must the court also find that the state court’s Chapman application was unreasonable under § 2254(d)(1), as the Second… Read more

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Rico Sanders v. Scott Eckstein, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 19-2596 (Nov. 30, 2020) Sanders was give a 140-year sentence for sexual assaults he committed when he was 15 years old. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2030, when he’s 51. He argues he’s entitled to habeas relief because the Wisconsin Court of Appeals… Read more

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Larry H. Dunn v. Cathy Jess, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 20-1168 (Nov. 24, 2020) Dunn was charged with felony murder and other offenses based on the fact he had struck the victim, who was later found dead from a head injury. In a rare case that clears the high hurdles of both AEDPA… Read more

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Shan Fieldman v. Christine Brannon, __F.3d__  (7th Cir. 2020) Shan Fieldman climbed into a truck and told a hit man that he wanted his ex-wife and her boyfriend killed. Turns out the hit man was an undercover cop who videotaped their conversation. At trial the State played the video. Fieldman testified that he did not… Read more

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