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Obstructing, § 946.41 – “Lawful Authority” – Jury Instruction, Generally

State v. Kelly R. Ferguson, 2009 WI 50, reversing unpublished opinion
For Ferguson: Jefren E. Olsen, SPD, Madison Appellate


¶31      Because “lawful authority” is an element of obstruction under Wis. Stat. § 946.41(1), if the jury was not properly instructed on the meaning of “lawful authority,” given the facts presented to the jury, the circuit court erred.See Harvey, 254 Wis. 2d 442, ¶23 (“[J]ury instructions that have the effect of relieving the State of its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt every element of the offense charged are unconstitutional under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.”).


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