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Evidence was sufficient to prove ch. 980 respondent is still dangerous

State v. Edward Cotton, 2013AP452, District 1, 1/7/14; court of appeals decision (not recommended for publication); case activity

At the hearing on Cotton’s petition for discharge from his ch. 980 commitment the state’s experts testified that Cotton’s high psychopathy coupled with his sexual deviance raised his risk to reoffend. They also opined that sex offender treatment Cotton received in prison did not significantly reduce his risk because it wasn’t designed to treat offenders with high psychopathy. (¶¶3-5). Cotton’s expert testified his psychopathy was moderate, not high, and that treatment had reduced his risk. (¶¶6-8). (There was no dispute about Cotton’s diagnoses. (¶¶3, 4, 6, 16).) The circuit court found the state’s experts more convincing. (¶¶10-14). The court of appeals affirms, holding the evidence was sufficient to support the denial of discharge. The circuit court appropriately weighed the experts’ opinions and found the state’s experts more credible than the defense expert. “We are bound by the factfinder’s determination on credibility. State v. Kienitz, 227 Wis. 2d 423, 435, 597 N.W.2d 712, 717–718 (1999) (“The trier of fact has the ability to accept so much of the testimony of a medical expert that it finds credible, and it then weighs the evidence and resolves any conflicts in testimony.”) (citation omitted).” (¶17).

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