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Witness – Impeachment — § 906.06, Motive to Lie

State v. Walter T. Missouri, 2006 WI App 74
For Missouri: Jeffrey W. Jensen

Issue: Whether the defense should have been allowed to cross-examine the arresting officer about an instance of misconduct between the officer and a third party which was assertedly very similar to the defense theory that the officer mistreated the defendant and planted evidence on him.


¶20      Moreover, WIS. STAT. § 906.08(2) provides:

      SPECIFIC INSTANCES OF CONDUCT.  Specific instances of the conduct of a witness, for the purpose of attacking or supporting the witness’s credibility … may not be proved by extrinsic evidence. They may, however … if probative of truthfulness or untruthfulness and not remote in time, be inquired into on cross-examination of the witness or on cross-examination ….

¶21      Based on this statute, at a minimum, defense counsel should have been able to ask Mucha about the Scull incident during cross-examination. The Scull incident was not remote in time, and was probative of whether Mucha was being truthful or untruthful.


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