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Sentencing Review – Consecutive Sentences – Unrelated Past Offenses

State v. Brandon J. Matke, 2005 WI App 4, PFR filed 1/6/05
For Matke: James B. Connell


¶17. Finally, Matke argues that the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion when it ordered, without explanation, that Matke’s present sentence be consecutive to any other sentences he was then serving. …

¶18. The sole infirmity that Matke cites is the court’s failure to specifically relate any of the sentencing factors it discussed to its decision to order the present sentence consecutive to, instead of concurrent with, any pre-existing sentences. In support of his erroneous sentencing claim, Matke points to our decision in State v Hall, 2002 WI App 108, 255 Wis. 2d 662, 648 N.W.2d 41, where we reversed a set of multiple sentences totaling 304 years because the trial court had not explained why each of the multiple sentences was to be served consecutively. Id., ¶¶8, 12-18. … Neither our conclusions in Hall nor the cited ABA Standards have any bearing on a sentence subsequently imposed for a new offense that is unrelated to past offenses for which a defendant may still be serving time.

¶19. We conclude that the present facts are governed instead by the principle that, so long as a sentencing court has considered the proper factors, explained its rationale for the overall sentence it imposes, and the sentence is not unreasonable, the court does not erroneously exercise its discretion simply by failing to separately explain its rationale for each and every facet of the sentence imposed. See State v. Johnson, 178 Wis.  2d 42, 54-56, 56 n.5, 503 N.W.2d 575 (Ct. App. 1993). Moreover, we agree with the State that imposing concurrent sentences for successive OMVWI convictions would contravene the legislature’s clearly expressed intent that multiple OMVWI offenders receive harsher punishment upon each successive conviction. SeeBanks, 105 Wis. 2d at 49-50.


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