Issues (lifted from the State’s PFR here)
Did Wilson satisfy the opportunity requirement for presenting third-party-perpetrator evidence under State v. Denny, 120 Wis. 2d 614, 357 N.W.2d 12 (Ct. App. 1984) with respect to Willie Friend?
If the answer to the first question is “yes,” was the error in excluding the Denny evidence harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.?
If you’re expecting a big battle over State v. Denny, you probably will be disappointed. The State does not challenge the Denny test. It contends that the court of appeals applied it incorrectly. (Think “error correction.”) However, the State’s really big beef is with the court of appeals’ “harmless error” analysis, which necessarily focuses on the facts of just this case. The State does not challenge the “harmless error” test itself. (Think “error correction” again). When you’re the State, that’s all it take to get your petition granted. Seriously, this unpublished, summary disposition doesn’t meet the criteria for review. Our best guess as to why the Supremes took it is that Wilson, who was convicted of 1st-degree intentional homicide, has been sitting in prison for 20 years. The court of appeals decision would require the State to retry his case, which could prove difficult. That is not, however, one of § 809.62’s criteria for supreme court review. High fives, Attorney Anne Kearney, for taking Wilson’s case via the Appellate Section’s pro bono appeals program.